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

Author

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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucia Hanmer & Robert Lensink & Howard White, 2003. "Infant and child mortality in developing countries: Analysing the data for Robust determinants," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 101-118.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:40:y:2003:i:1:p:101-118
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380412331293687
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alassane Drabo, 2011. "Do Political Institutions protect the poor? Intra Countries Health Inequalities and Air Pollution in Developing Countries," Working Papers halshs-00584997, HAL.
    2. Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Sackey, Frank G., 2016. "Do political regime transitions in Africa Matter for Citizens’ Health Status," Working Papers 2072/267086, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. Charles Kenny, 2008. "What is effective aid? How would donors allocate it?," The European Journal of Development Research, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 330-346.
    5. Rizwana Siddiqui, 2008. "Income, Public Social Services, and Capability Development : A Cross-district Analysis of Pakistan," Development Economics Working Papers 22221, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    6. cyrine hannafi & Christophe Muller, 2016. "The Poverty-Economic Growth-Health Triangle," EcoMod2016 9587, EcoMod.
    7. Alassane Drabo, 2011. "Agricultural primary commodity export and environmental degradation: what consequences for population's health?," Working Papers halshs-00586034, HAL.
    8. 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, April.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Farrukh Iqbal & Youssouf Kiendrebeogo, "undated". "The Reduction of Child Mortality in the Middle East and North Africa: A Success Story," Economics Working Papers 20-06/2014, School of Business Administration, American University of Sharjah.
    13. Welander, Anna & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nilsson, Therese, 2014. "Globalization and Child Health in Developing Countries: The Role of Democracy," Working Paper Series 1016, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    14. Clemens, Michael A. & Kenny, Charles J. & Moss, Todd J., 2007. "The Trouble with the MDGs: Confronting Expectations of Aid and Development Success," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 735-751, May.
    15. Weichun Chen & Judith A. Clarke & Nilanjana Roy, 2014. "Health and wealth: Short panel Granger causality tests for developing countries," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(6), pages 755-784, September.
    16. 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.
    17. Hauck, K. & Martin, S. & Smith, P.C., 2016. "Priorities for action on the social determinants of health: Empirical evidence on the strongest associations with life expectancy in 54 low-income countries, 1990–2012," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 88-98.
    18. repec:spr:soinre:v:136:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1526-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Sackey, Frank Gyimah, 2016. "Do Leaders' Characteristics and Regime Transitions in Africa Matter for Citizens' Health Status?," IZA Discussion Papers 10338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Ana Barufi & Eduardo Haddad & Antonio Paez, 2011. "Regional dimensions of infant mortality in Brazil," ERSA conference papers ersa10p198, European Regional Science Association.
    21. 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.
    22. Eggen, Andrea & Bezemer, Dirk J, 2007. "Do Poverty Reduction Strategies Help Achieve The Millennium Development Goals?," MPRA Paper 7030, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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