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Infant and child mortality in developing countries: Analysing the data for Robust determinants

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Author Info

  • Lucia Hanmer
  • Robert Lensink
  • Howard White

Abstract

Is development best achieved by going for growth, or does specific attention need to be paid to directly improving human welfare? In contrast to the Human Development Reports of the UNDP, the World Bank has stressed the growth approach. Recent work has reinforced this position by arguing that health spending is extremely ineffective in reducing infant or child mortality, which is mainly explained by a country's income per capita. This article contests this position through testing the robustness of determinants of infant and child mortality. We have estimated over 420,000 equations which show that, while income per capita is a robust determinant of infant and child mortality, so are indicators of health, education and gender inequality. Some health spending, such as immunisation, is thus shown to be cost effective way of saving lives. Our results are consistent with the view that much health spending in developing countries may be poorly targeted or otherwise ineffective, but do not support the position that public health strategies should not be given too great a role in pursuing improvements in human welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 101-118

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:40:y:2003:i:1:p:101-118

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Cited by:
  1. Ana Barufi & Eduardo Haddad & Antonio Paez, 2011. "Regional dimensions of infant mortality in Brazil," ERSA conference papers ersa10p198, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Rizwana Siddiqui, 2008. "Income, Public Social Services, and Capability Development: A Cross-district Analysis of Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2008:43, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  3. Stephan KLASEN & Simon LANGE, 2012. "Getting Progress Right : Measuring Progress Towards the MDGs Against Historical Trends," Working Papers P60, FERDI.
  4. Jennifer Franz & Felix R. FitzRoy, 2005. "Child mortaility, poverty and environment in developing countries," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200518, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  5. Michael Clemens & Charles Kenny & Todd Moss, 2004. "The Trouble with the MDGs: Confronting Expectations of Aid and Development Success," Development and Comp Systems 0405011, EconWPA.
  6. Siddiqui, Rizwana, 2008. "Human Capital vs Physical Capital: A cross country analysis of human development strategies," MPRA Paper 13999, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2008.
  7. Siddiqui, Rizwana, 2007. "The role of household income and public provision of social services in satisfaction of basic needs in Pakistan: A cross district analysis," MPRA Paper 4409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Eggen, Andrea & Bezemer, Dirk J, 2007. "Do Poverty Reduction Strategies Help Achieve The Millennium Development Goals?," MPRA Paper 7030, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Garenne, Michel & Gakusi, Albert Eneas, 2006. "Vulnerability and Resilience: Determinants of Under-Five Mortality Changes in Zambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1765-1787, October.
  10. Alberto, Gabriele & Schettino, Francesco, 2006. "Child Mortality In China And Vietnam In A Comparative Perspective," MPRA Paper 3987, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2006.
  11. Stephan KLASEN & Simon LANGE, 2012. "Getting Progress Right : Measuring Progress Towards the MDGs Against Historical Trends," Working Papers P60, FERDI.
  12. Kenny, Charles, 2006. "What is effective aid? How would donors allocate It?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4005, The World Bank.
  13. Judith A. Clarke & Nilanjana Roy & Weichun Chen, 2012. "Health and Wealth: Short Panel Granger Causality Tests for Developing Countries," Econometrics Working Papers 1204, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  14. Stephan Klasen & Simon Lange, 2011. "Getting Progress Right: Measuring Progress Towards the MDGs Against Historical Trends," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 87, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 20 Feb 2012.
  15. Robert Lensink & Howard White, 2000. "Aid allocation, poverty reduction and the Assessing Aid report," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 399-412.

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