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The effects of kin on child mortality in rural Gambia

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  • Rebecca Sear
  • Fiona Steele
  • Ian A. McGregor
  • Ruth Mace
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    Abstract

    In this paper we analyse data that were collected continuously between 1950 and 1974 from a rural area of The Gambia to determine the effects of kin on child mortality. Multilevel event history models are used to demonstrate that having a living mother, maternal grandmother or elder sisters had a significant positive effect on the survival probabilities of children, whereas fathers, paternal grandmothers, grandfathers and elder brothers had no effect. The mother’s remarriage to a new husband had a detrimental effect on child survival, but there is little difference in the mortality rates of children born to monogamous or polygynous fathers. The implications of these results for understanding the evolution of human life history are discussed.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/247/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 247.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2002
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    Publication status: Published in Demography, February, 2002, 39(1), pp. 43-63. ISSN: 1533-7790
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:247

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    Related research

    Keywords: kin; child mortality; evolutionary demography; Gambia;

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    Cited by:
    1. Donald Cox, 2007. "Biological Basics and the Economics of the Family," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 91-108, Spring.

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