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Economic Status and Adult Mortality in India: Is the Relationship Sensitive to Choice of Indicators?

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  • Barik, Debasis
  • Desai, Sonalde
  • Vanneman, Reeve

Abstract

Research on economic status and adult mortality is often stymied by the reciprocity of this relationship and lack of clarity on which aspect of economic status matters. While financial resources increase access to healthcare and nutrition and reduce mortality, sickness also reduces labor force participation, thereby reducing income. Without longitudinal data, it is difficult to study the linkage between economic status and mortality. Using data from a national sample of 132,116 Indian adults aged 15 years and above, this paper examines their likelihood of death between wave 1 of the India Human Development Survey (IHDS), conducted in 2004–05 and wave 2, conducted in 2011–12. The results show that mortality between the two waves is strongly linked to the economic status of the household at wave 1 regardless of the choice of indicator for economic status. However, negative relationship between economic status and mortality for individuals already suffering from cardiovascular and metabolic conditions varies between three markers of economic status—income, consumption, and ownership of consumer durables—reflecting two-way relationship between short- and long-term markers of economic status and morbidity.

Suggested Citation

  • Barik, Debasis & Desai, Sonalde & Vanneman, Reeve, 2018. "Economic Status and Adult Mortality in India: Is the Relationship Sensitive to Choice of Indicators?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 176-187.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:176-187
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.10.018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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