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Infant Mortality During Economic Downturns and Recovery

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Author Info

  • Ronald Mendoza

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)

  • Nicholas Rees

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)

Abstract

This paper reviews the empirical literature on the impact of economic downturns on infant mortality. Drawing on this, it examines the possible impact of the presently unfolding global economic slowdown. While there is scope for further improving our understanding of the links between economic trends and infant mortality, the available empirical evidence does suggest that children face grave risks if the social impact of the global slowdown is unmitigated. There is also a risk that the global slowdown could undermine recent progress in reducing infant mortality. The analysis and evidence underscore several key areas for policy responses: a) providing humanitarian relief, including health and nutrition interventions to the most hard-hit and vulnerable groups; b) expanding social protection to the poorest and most vulnerable; and c) resuscitating growth in a way that is pro-poor and ensures that the recovery of household incomes—notably among the poor and low income households—is robust and sustained. The main message of this paper for policymakers is that, based on empirical evidence on past crises, the possible impact of the present crisis on infant mortality is nothing that cannot be mitigated by policies that protect children and women and ensure sufficient social investments in the first place.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy in its series Working papers with number 0904.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uce:wpaper:0904

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Related research

Keywords: infant mortality; economic downturns; social impact ; social investments; low income households; social investments; social protection;

References

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  1. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Social protection in a crisis - Argentina's Plan Jefes y Jefas," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3165, The World Bank.
  2. Sarah Baird & Jed Friedman & Norbert Schady, 2009. "Aggregate Income Shocks and Infant Mortality in the Developing World," Working Papers 2010-07, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  3. Barham, Tania, 2011. "A healthier start: The effect of conditional cash transfers on neonatal and infant mortality in rural Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 74-85, January.
  4. de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Vakis, Renos, 2006. "Can conditional cash transfer programs serve as safety nets in keeping children at school and from working when exposed to shocks?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 349-373, April.
  5. Bengtsson, Niklas, 2010. "How responsive is body weight to transitory income changes? Evidence from rural Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 53-61, May.
  6. Friedman, Jed & Schady, Norbert, 2009. "How many more infants are likely to die in Africa as a result of the global financial crisis ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5023, The World Bank.
  7. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
  8. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Timothy M. Watts, 2007. "Long Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France," NBER Working Papers 12895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Schady, Norbert, 2008. "Aggregate economic shocks, child schooling and child health," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4701, The World Bank.
  13. Ronald U. Mendoza, 2011. "Why do the poor pay more? Exploring the poverty penalty concept," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 1-28, January.
  14. Frankenberg, E. & Thomas, D. & Beegle, K., 1999. "The Real Costs of Indonesia's Economic Crisis: Preliminary Findings from the Indonesia Family Life Surveys," Papers 99-04, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  15. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, August.
  16. Bhalotra, Sonia, 2010. "Fatal fluctuations? Cyclicality in infant mortality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 7-19, September.
  17. Lawrence Haddad & Harold Alderman & Simon Appleton & Lina Song & Yisehac Yohannes, 2003. "Reducing Child Malnutrition: How Far Does Income Growth Take Us?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 107-131, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Ronald Mendoza & Ronald, 2010. "Inclusive Crises, Exclusive Recoveries, and Policies to Prevent a Double Whammy for the Poor," Working papers 1004, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.

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