Other affiliations: Pennsylvania State University
Bio: Saroj Bhattarai is an academic researcher from University of Texas at Austin. The author has contributed to research in topics: Monetary policy & Inflation. The author has an hindex of 16, co-authored 43 publications receiving 907 citations. Previous affiliations of Saroj Bhattarai include Pennsylvania State University.
01 Feb 1997
TL;DR: This study attempts to identify characteristics of the existing child and the maternal care environment that could be used as a basis for designing policies and programs to improve the nutritional status of children in Bangladesh.
Abstract: Children are the most vulnerable among the malnourished population of Bangladesh. Child and maternal care practices are now being considered as important complements to increasing household income or targeted food interventions to address child growth needs. In Bangladesh, as elsewhere, many children, even in poor households, do well nutritionally, whereas others do not. This study attempts to identify characteristics of the existing child and the maternal care environment that could be used as a basis for designing policies and programs to improve the nutritional status of children. For the present study, all children between 6-18 months of age were selected from a nutrition survey of a cross section of 741 households conducted by the IFPRI Bangladesh Food Policy Project in February-March 1992. Households of 111 children thus were revisited in May-June 1993 to obtain, retrospectively, information from mothers or alternative primary caregivers about selected child care practices and related indicators. Information was obtained on feeding practices of infants and mothers, indicators of psychosocial care, and health and hygiene practices. In this study, information on child care practices obtained together with information from the original nutrition survey on maternal and child nutrition, individual food consumption, and household demographic and socioeconomic status was used. Children who exhibited the best growth status, holding age and income level constant, compared to the others in the same environmental setting, are identified as positive deviants. Those with the worst growth are categorized as negative deviants. Children falling in-between positive and negative deviants are labeled as median growers. Even though an increase in income was found to be associated with improving child nutrition, on average, this association was not very evident at the two tails of the nutrition status distribution, with household income of negative deviant children higher than for both the positive deviants and median growth children, implying a limited access or allocation of household income by mothers in these households, and the relevance of non-income factors. Also, in the sample as a whole, gender differences in child nutrition were not found to be very significant. There was, however, unmistakable evidence of differential treatment of children by gender. There were three times as many male children in the positive deviants group as compared with female children. Even though there were an equal number of male and female children in the negative deviants group, there is evidence of differential child mortality by gender, with evidence of large numbers of "missing" female children in this group, who were, on average, only one year old. A selection of caring practices and indicators were identified for infant feeding, complementary feeding, maternal diet and health, psychosocial care, and health and hygiene practices. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify key caring practices and indicators associated with well and poorly growing children. The analysis supports earlier work that indicates that determinants of child nutrition are not exactly the same for different groups of children, even in the same population. Two key factors that were important across the board were hygiene practices and mothers' access to knowledge (listening to radio programs on child health and nutrition). Important factors contributing to negative deviance were found to be an early introduction of complementary food (before four months), restricting maternal diet for longer periods after the child's birth, and the absence of specially prepared food items in the child's diet. Care factors of the caretaker were also found to be important: a mother's expression of "satisfaction with her family life," which was used as one of the indicators of psychosocial care, was found to be statistically significant. Many local practices were identified that programs and policies could support and build upon to facilitate the participation and empowerment of local communities, families, women, and men in Bangladesh for better child nutrition.
TL;DR: The authors applied a factor-based identification strategy to decompose the historical sources of changes in commodity prices and global economic activity, which yielded a factor structure for commodity prices, and identification conditions that provided an economic interpretation: one factor captures the combined contribution of shocks that affect commodity markets only through general equilibrium forces.
Abstract: Guided by a macroeconomic model with endogenous commodity prices, we apply a new factor-based identification strategy to decompose the historical sources of changes in commodity prices and global economic activity. The model yields a factor structure for commodity prices and identification conditions that provide an economic interpretation: one factor captures the combined contribution of shocks that affect commodity markets only through general-equilibrium forces. Applied to a cross-section of commodity prices since 1968, the theoretical restrictions are consistent with the data and yield structural interpretations of the common factors in commodity prices. Commodity-related shocks have contributed modestly to global economic fluctuations.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a signalling theory of QE at the zero lower bound on the short term nominal interest rate, and show that the signalling effect can be substantial in both models.
Abstract: We present a signalling theory of Quantitative Easing (QE) at the zero lower bound on the short term nominal interest rate. QE is effective because it generates a credible signal of low future real interest rates in a time consistent equilibrium. We show these results in two models. One has coordinated monetary and fiscal policy. The other an independent central bank with balance sheet concerns. Numerical experiments show that the signalling effect can be substantial in both models.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors estimate international spillover effects of US Quantitative Easing (QE) on emerging market economies using a Bayesian VAR on monthly US macroeconomic and financial data.
Abstract: We estimate international spillover effects of US Quantitative Easing (QE) on emerging market economies. Using a Bayesian VAR on monthly US macroeconomic and financial data, we first identify the US QE shock with non-recursive identifying restrictions. We estimate strong and robust macroeconomic and financial impacts of the US QE shock on US output, consumer prices, long-term yields, and asset prices. The identified US QE shock is then used in a monthly Bayesian panel VAR for emerging market economies to infer the spillover effects on these countries. We find that an expansionary US QE shock has significant effects on financial variables in emerging market economies. It leads to an exchange rate appreciation, a reduction in long-term bond yields, a stock market boom, and an increase in capital inflows to these countries. These effects on financial variables are stronger for the "Fragile Five" countries compared to other emerging market economies. We however do not find significant effects of the US QE shock on output and consumer prices of emerging markets.
TL;DR: The authors established three new facts about price setting by multi-product firms: firms selling more goods adjust prices more frequently but on average by smaller amounts, their fraction of positive price changes is lower and the dispersion of price changes are higher.
Abstract: Using micro-data on U.S. producer prices, we establish three new facts about price setting by multi-product firms. First, firms selling more goods adjust prices more frequently but on average by smaller amounts. Moreover, their fraction of positive price changes is lower and the dispersion of price changes is higher. Second, price changes within firms are substantially synchronized, which plays a dominant role in explaining pricing dynamics. Third, firms selling more goods have greater within-firm synchronization of price changes. A model with trend inflation and firm-specific menu costs where firms are subject to idiosyncratic and aggregate shocks matches the empirical findings.
01 Dec 1999
TL;DR: This research report examines the success of the efforts of the past 25 years to reduce preschooler undernutrition and uses an econometric model to identify the factors associated with the reduction in undernutrition.
Abstract: "One in three pre-school children in the developing world is undernourished. As a consequence, their human rights are violated. In addition, they are more likely to have impaired immune systems, poorer cognitive development, lower productivity as adults, and greater susceptibility to diet-related chronic diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease later in life. Undernourished female preschoolers are likely to grow into undernourished young women who are more likely to give birth to babies who are undernourished even before they are born, thus perpetuating the inter-generational transmission of deprivation. Reducing these unacceptably high numbers remains a tremendous challenge to public policy. As a guide to the direction of future efforts, this research report examines the success of the efforts of the past 25 years to reduce preschooler undernutrition. The report uses an econometric model to identify the factors associated with the reduction in undernutrition. The formulation of the econometric model is guided by the widely accepted food-care-health conceptual model of child growth. The contributions of both underlying and basic determinants to reductions in undernutrition are assessed using the model. The potential of these factors to further reduce undernutrition is evaluated in a region-by-region priority-setting exercise. In addition, projections of child nutrition are made under various scenarios to the year 2020. What will it take to dramatically reduce undernutrition in the next 20 years? The report attempts some broad answers to these questions..." (Forward by Per Pinstrup-Andersen)
TL;DR: This article examined the frequency, pervasiveness, and determinants of product switching by US manufacturing firms and found that one-half of firms alter their mix of five-digit SIC products every five years, and that product switching is correlated with both firm-and firm-product attributes.
Abstract: This paper examines the frequency, pervasiveness, and determinants of prod uct switching by US manufacturing firms. We find that one-half of firms alter their mix of five-digit SIC products every five years, that product switching is correlated with both firm- and firm -product attributes, and that product adding and dropping induce large changes in firm scope. The behavior we observe is consistent with a natural generalization of existing theories of industry dynam ics that incorporates endogenous product selection within firms. Our findings suggest that product switching contributes to a reallocation of resources within firms toward their most efficient use. (JEL LI 1, L21, L25, L60) The extent to which resources are allocated to their best use is a core issue of economics. Until now, research into industry dynamics has addressed this issue by focusing almost exclusively on the contribution of firm entry and exit to resource reallocation, that is, whether newly created firms or plants are more productive than the dying firms and plants they replace.1 This paper examines a new, "extensive" margin of firm adjustment, the reassignment of resources that takes place within surviving firms as they add and drop (i.e., "switch") products. Our analysis of product switching makes use of a unique longitudinal dataset that tracks US firms' product-level manufacturing output across quinquennial US Manufacturing Censuses
TL;DR: The authors proposed a new explanation for the absence of disinflation during the Great Recession and found popular explanations to be insufficient, and proposed an explanation for this puzzle within the context of a standard Phillips curve.
Abstract: We evaluate explanations for the absence of disinflation during the Great Recession and find popular explanations to be insufficient. We propose a new explanation for this puzzle within the context of a standard Phillips curve. If firms’ inflation expectations track those of households, then the missing disinflation can be explained by the rise in their inflation expectations between 2009 and 2011. We present new econometric and survey evidence consistent with firms having similar expectations as households. The rise in household inflation expectations from 2009 to 2011 can be explained by the increase in oil prices over this time period. (JEL D84, E24, E32, E52, E58, Q35)
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined whether dietary diversity, defined as the number of unique foods consumed over a given period of time, provides information on household food security, and found that dietary diversity would appear to show promise as a means of measuring food security and monitoring changes and impact, particularly when resources available for such measurement are scarce.
Abstract: Household food security is an important measure of well-being. Although it may not encapsulate all dimensions of poverty, the inability of households to obtain access to enough food for an active, healthy life is surely an important component of their poverty. Accordingly, devising an appropriate measure of food security outcomes is useful in order to identify the food insecure, assess the severity of their food shortfall, characterize the nature of their insecurity (for example, seasonal versus chronic), predict who is most at risk of future hunger, monitor changes in circumstances, and assess the impact of interventions. However, obtaining detailed data on food security status—such as 24- hour recall data on caloric intakes—can be time consuming and expensive and require a high level of technical skill both in data collection and analysis. This paper examines whether an alternative indicator, dietary diversity, defined as the number of unique foods consumed over a given period of time, provides information on household food security. It draws on data from 10 countries (India, the Philippines, Mozambique, Mexico, Bangladesh, Egypt, Mali, Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya) that encompass both poor and middle-income countries, rural and urban sectors, data collected in different seasons, and data on calories acquisition obtained using two different methods. ....[D]ietary diversity would appear to show promise as a means of measuring food security and monitoring changes and impact, particularly when resources available for such measurement are scarce.
TL;DR: The impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program was performed by the Nicaraguan Red de Proteccion Social (RPS) as discussed by the authors, which evaluated the effectiveness of the program.
Abstract: Impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program :the Nicaraguan Red de Proteccion Social , Impact evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program :the Nicaraguan Red de Proteccion Social , مرکز فناوری اطلاعات و اطلاع رسانی کشاورزی