The Nutritional Effects of Subsequent Birth Spacing in Chad



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Early childhood nutrition has extensive effects on later adult outcomes including those relating to life expectancy, health, cognitive development, educational attainment, and lifetime earnings. This study is an exploration of how the nutrition of four-year-olds is impacted by subsequent birth spacing in the Republic of Chad. A subsequent birth interval is the length of time between a child's birth and the birth of their closest younger sibling, which is an under-explored area of research. The data for this study are from the Chad 2014-2015 Demographic and Health Survey. The analyses are completed by running multivariable linear regressions with weight-for-height z-score or body mass index z-score as the dependent variable. The results show that subsequent birth intervals affect the nutritional status of four-year-olds on both the extensive and intensive margins. That is, children with subsequent birth intervals of fewer than 36 months are nutritionally worse off, and among children who experience a short interval, an additional month of space is beneficial. These findings have implications for the global fight against early childhood malnutrition as well as for several goals in developing countries relating to improving health, education, income, and life expectancy.



development economics, early childhood nutrition, birth spacing, birth interval