Child Indicators Research

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 383–403 | Cite as

Do Tunisian Young Children Have Equal Chances in Access to Basic Services? A Special Focus on Opportunities in Healthcare and Nutrition

  • Mohamed Amara
  • Hatem JemmaliEmail author


It is widely recognized in the public health literature that healthcare and nutrition during the early childhood period have important long-term and sometimes irreversible consequences on health and wellbeing later in life. In this paper, we endeavor to investigate deeply the patterns of inequality of opportunity in health and nutrition outcomes among under-five children in Tunisia. Several tools are used to do such analysis including comparison of distributions of the considered outcomes across circumstances groups; estimation of the Human Opportunity Index; and measurement of the relative contributions of different circumstances using the Shapley decomposition. The main findings reveal reasonable and low levels of inequality in access to all basic healthcare services and nutrition except access to improved water and sanitation. Besides, parents’ education, wealth status and location of residence are found to be key factors causing low level of inequalities. Thus, it is easy to conclude that without more inclusive and pro-poor policy interventions, there are few chances for children belonging in poor families and living in marginalized rural areas to spring out of the poverty lived by their parents.


Child development Health Nutrition Inequality of opportunity Tunisia 

JEL Classification

D63 D31 O18 O55 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Higher School of Economic and Commercial SciencesUniversity of TunisTunisTunisia
  2. 2.Laboratory for Research on Quantitative Development Economics (LAREQUAD)University of Tunis El-ManarTunisTunisia
  3. 3.Higher Institute of Accounting and Business AdministrationUniversity of ManoubaManoubaTunisia

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