Anna Folke Larsen – University of Copenhagen

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Anna Folke Larsen

“Error in month of birth: how it affects stunting rates in survey data”


Stunting in early childhood adversely affects cognitive abilities, schooling outcomes and productivity in adult life. In order to follow the progress in stunting reduction, correct measurement of height-for-age is important. Using Demographic Health Surveys from 65 countries in the period 1990-2013, we provide a novel way of detecting measurement error in month of birth which results in mismeasured age. The measurement error increases the dispersion of height-for-age leading to overestimation of the prevalence stunting. Through simulation studies we quantify the size of the bias in stunting rates.