11 de marzo de 2017

CfP: Joint LSE and CEPR Conference

Stunting is one of the most important and widely-used indicators of malnutrition. Accordingly, the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals have identified the reduction of stunting rates as a key priority of development policy. While some countries, such as Nepal and Bangladesh, have experienced rapid declines in stunting rates (Headey et al., 2015; Headey and Hoddinott, 2015), stunting has remained extremely persistent in other countries, such as India (Subramanyan et al., 2011; Jayachandran and Pande, 2016). Although recent work has found a weak association between economic growth and reductions in stunting rates (Vollmer et al., 2014), there remains considerable debate among development professionals and academics about the best way forward.
Developing alongside this modern literature is one that offers a valuable long-run perspective. Over the last few years, economic historians have focused on issues of how children’s growth has changed over time, and why these growth patterns have differed across stages in a country’s development trajectory. Using a wealth of precise data on historical birth weights (Schneider, 2017), growth faltering in childhood (Roberts and Warren, 2016; Arthi and Schneider, 2017) and adolescent growth patterns (Horrell and Oxley, 2016; Gao and Schneider, 2017; Schneider and Ogasawara, 2017), this literature has shown that children’s growth in the nineteenth century was similar to that observed in developing countries today. As such, an understanding of historical trends in child growth may lend insight into the kinds of policies and interventions that might reduce stunting rates in low-income settings today.
This conference seeks to bring together academics, policymakers, and development professionals to discuss how these two streams of research can inform current approaches to malnutrition; for instance, what lessons can long-run and global perspectives on changes in children’s growth provide for the current fight against childhood stunting? The conference will be interdisciplinary, drawing perspectives from the fields of economic history, development economics, sociology, epidemiology, statistics, paediatrics, and medicine more broadly. It will also be practical and policy-oriented, favouring research that can speak to present-day concerns.
Thus, we invite papers for presentation on the following three themes (or closely related questions):
1. How has the growth pattern of children (their birth weight, degree of growth faltering, velocity of growth, timing of the pubertal growth spurt, and final adult height) changed over time and varied across space?
• How does stunting vary around the world?
• What is the global prevalence of the double burden of both over- and under-nutrition?
• To what extent is there inequality in stunting within a single country, for instance by socioeconomic status and gender?
2. What factors influence changes in growth faltering or in children’s growth patterns?
• What factors have led to changes in stunting rates?
• What factors have led to positive changes in child growth historically?
• What lessons do these developments provide for fighting malnutrition in the future?
3. How do we measure disruption in the growth pattern?
• Do the current fetal, infant and child growth standards need to be revisited?
• Are new methods required for measuring growth disruption?
• Is the stunting rate the best measure for capturing the complexity of malnutrition?

The conference will include a keynote lecture by John Hoddinott (Cornell) and approximately 20 papers, with those participants who are not giving papers acting as discussants. There will also be an extended plenary discussion at the end of the second day, focussing on wider themes arising from the workshop. This session will give participants the opportunity to discuss how researchers, policymakers, and development professionals can work together better to fight against poor child health today.
The conference is sponsored by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Economic History Programme, and has been generously funded by the LSE Knowledge Exchange and Impact Fund and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This support enables us to substantially subsidise travel expenses and cover accommodation for all participants.
If you wish to present a paper at the conference, please email Chloe Smith at csmith@cepr.org attaching a 300-word abstract and a current CV. If you would like to participate in the conference and act as a discussant, please submit a brief paragraph about why you would like to participate along with a CV to Chloe Smith as well. Please indicate in your email whether you will be able to cover your own travel and accommodation costs, or whether you will require funding. The deadline for replies is 18:00 (GMT) on Friday 28 April 2017. You may also like to read our Guidelines on how to register online for CEPR Meetings at http://www.cepr.org/content/Electronic-Meetings-Organisation.
Important dates:
28 April 2017 at 18:00 GMT: 300-word abstract submission deadline
12 May 2017: Applicants informed about whether their paper has been accepted
21 August 2017: Complete papers need to be submitted to Tracy Keefe (T.J.Keefe@lse.ac.uk) to give discussants time to read the papers.
7-8 September 2017: Conference at the LSE in London