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Deadly Cities? A Note on Spatial Inequalities in Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Isabel Günther

    (ETH Zürich)

  • Kenneth Harttgen

    (Georg-August University Göttingen)

Abstract

In this paper we analyze if an `urban mortality penalty\' exists for today\'s developing countries, repeating the history of industrialized nations during the 19th century. We analyze the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of 19 Sub-Saharan African countries for differences in child and adult mortality between rural and urban areas. Our findings indicate that child mortality is higher in rural areas for almost all countries. On average child mortality rates are 13.6 percent in rural areas and `only\' 10.8 percent in urban areas. In contrast, average urban adult mortality rates (on average 14.5 percent) have indeed exceeded rural adult mortality rates (on average 12.8 percent) in many of our sample countries in the 2000s. For many countries high child mortality pockets do, however, exist in slum areas within cities. Child mortality rates in slum areas are on average 1.65 times higher than in the formal settlements of cities, but still lower than in rural areas.

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Paper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 52.

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Date of creation: 21 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:052

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Keywords: mortality; urban; slum; inequality;

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  1. Pradhan, Menno & Sahn, David E. & Younger, Stephen D., 2003. "Decomposing world health inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 271-293, March.
  2. Emmanuela Gakidou & Gary King, 2006. "Death by survey: Estimating adult mortality without selection bias from sibling survival data," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 569-585, August.
  3. Ian Timæus & Momodou Jasseh, 2004. "Adult mortality in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from demographic and health surveys," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 757-772, November.
  4. Michael Kremer, 2007. "What Works in Fighting Diarrheal Diseases in Developing Countries? A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 12987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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