Diane Coffey | Ideas for India

Diane Coffey
University of Texas
Diane is a demographer who studies health, nutrition, sanitation, and social inequality in India. She is an assistant professor of Sociology & Population Research at the University of Texas at Austin, a visiting researcher at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, and she co-directs a research non-profit called r.i.c.e., a research institute for compassionate economics, which aims to inform policies relating to child health in India.

Articles By Diane Coffey
Despite improvements in child health, why do so many newborns still die?
Posted On: 02 Jan 2018

Topics:   Health

The ‘Million Death Study’ shows that the death rate of under-five children in India dropped from about 90 per 1,000 to about 47 during 2000-2015. However, improvements in death rates in the first month of life have been slow, and deaths from low birthweight remained largely unchanged. In this article, Diane Coffey elaborates on these findings and recommends stronger efforts to understand and improve the health of pregnant women.
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Why doesn’t anybody know if Swachh Bharat Mission is succeeding?
Posted On: 10 Jul 2017

Topics:   Health

In 2014, the Prime Minister announced a goal of eliminating open defecation by 2019. In this article, Coffey and Spears, contend that now almost two-thirds of the way through the Swachh Bharat Mission, nobody knows whether it is succeeding because there is no credible, independent survey that can offer a useful estimate of the fraction of rural persons defecating in the open.
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Maternity entitlements for healthier babies
Posted On: 07 Jul 2016

Topics:   Gender , Health

The National Food Security Act, 2013 provides for a maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000 for every pregnant and lactating mother in India. In this article, Coffey and Hathi explain why maternity entitlements are a good investment, and discuss how they should be designed to have the biggest impact on the health and productivity of the next generation.
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Angus Deaton’s ideas for India
Posted On: 30 Oct 2015

In a tribute to Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in Economics, Diane Coffey and Dean Spears – former graduate students of Prof. Deaton at Princeton University – review some of his work on the well-being of the poor in India, and discuss the paradoxes and puzzles that still remain.
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Is maternal health in India worse than we thought?
Posted On: 12 Aug 2015

Topics:   Health

Since India does not have a national system to monitor health during pregnancy, the fraction of women of child-bearing age who are underweight - 35.5% - is used as a proxy for the fraction of pre-pregnant women who are underweight. This column presents new research that finds that the actual proportion of pre-pregnant women who are underweight is 7 percentage points higher than this figure.
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Culture, religion and open defecation in rural north India
Posted On: 14 Aug 2014

Topics:   Health

Open defecation in rural India is a human development emergency that is causing infant deaths, child stunting, and widespread infectious diseases. This column presents surprising qualitative and quantitative research about why so many people in rural India defecate in the open, even when latrines are available.
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Short-term migration and child welfare
Posted On: 07 Oct 2013

Topics:   Education , Jobs

While much has been said about the poor working and living conditions of short-term migrants, relatively little is known of the impact of short-term migration on child welfare. This column finds that although short-term migration does not lead to child labour, children of migrants have poorer educational outcomes.
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Does mother’s status affect the child’s stature?
Posted On: 22 Feb 2013

Topics:   Gender , Health

Both women’s status and children’s health in South Asia are abysmal. Can a well-defined link be established from women’s status to child health? This column presents results of a study that uses variation in the status of women in joint rural households to show that children born to lower status daughters-in-law are shorter than those born to higher status daughters-in-law, despite there being no apparent difference in pre-marriage characteristics of parents.
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