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Estimating the Determinants of Child Health When Fertility and Mortality Are Selective


  • Mark M. Pitt


This paper estimates the determinants of child mortality and child health allowing for the possibility that samples of children are choice-based, reflecting prior selective fertility and mortality behavior. Parameter identification is the most serious practical problem in controlling for fertility and mortality selection. Identification is achieved by imposing a random-effects structure on the error correlation matrix for the set of fertility, mortality, and health behaviors. Fertility selection is found to be statistically significant in the estimation of the determinants of mortality in all 14 Sub-Saharan DHS data sets studied, and fertility and mortality selection is found to be significant in the determination of child height in Zambia. Nevertheless, most parameters are little changed when selection is accounted for.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark M. Pitt, 1997. "Estimating the Determinants of Child Health When Fertility and Mortality Are Selective," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 129-158.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:32:y:1997:i:1:p:129-158

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    Cited by:

    1. Jere R. Behrman & John Hoddinott & John A. Maluccio & Reynaldo Martorell, 2009. "Brains versus Brawn: Labor Market Returns to Intellectual and Health Human Capital in a Poor Developing Country," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0907, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    2. Daniel L. Millimet & Le Wang, 2011. "Is the Quantity-Quality Trade-Off a Trade-Off for All, None, or Some?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 155-195.
    3. Charles Baum, 2012. "The effects of food stamp receipt on weight gained by expectant mothers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1307-1340, October.
    4. Kazianga, Harounan & Klonner, Stefan, 2009. "The Intra-household Economics of Polygyny: Fertility and Child Mortality in Rural Mali," MPRA Paper 12859, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Skoufias, Emmanuel, 1998. "Determinants of child health during the economic transition in Romania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 2045-2056, November.
    6. Santosh Kumar & Ramona Molitor & Sebastian Vollmer, 2014. "Children of Drought: Rainfall Shocks and Early Child Health in Rural India," Working Papers 1407, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
    7. Carletto, Calogero & Covarrubias, Katia & Maluccio, John A., 2011. "Migration and child growth in rural Guatemala," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 16-27, February.
    8. Mauricio Reis, 2014. "Public primary health care and children’s health in Brazil: evidence from siblings," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 421-445, April.
    9. Joseph Cummins, 2013. "On the Use and Misuse of Child Height-for-Age Z-score in the Demographic and Health Surveys," Working Papers 201417, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    10. Maitra, Pushkar & Pal, Sarmistha, 2008. "Birth spacing, fertility selection and child survival: Analysis using a correlated hazard model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 690-705, May.
    11. Masayuki Kudamatsu, 2012. "Has Democratization Reduced Infant Mortality In Sub-Saharan Africa? Evidence From Micro Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1294-1317, December.
    12. John A. Maluccio, & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2003. "The Impact of Nutrition during Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2006.
    13. Lhila, Aparna, 2009. "Does government provision of healthcare explain the relationship between income inequality and low birthweight?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1236-1245, October.
    14. Pitt, Mark M. & Khandker, Shahidur R. & Cartwright, Jennifer, 2003. "Does micro-credit empower women : evidence from Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2998, The World Bank.
    15. Hoddinott, John & Maluccio, John & Behrman, Jere R. & Martorell, Reynaldo & Melgar, Paul & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Ramirez-Zea, Manuel & Stein, Aryeh D. & Yount, Kathryn M., 2011. "The consequences of early childhood growth failure over the life course:," IFPRI discussion papers 1073, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. Manan Roy, 2014. "How well does the U.S. Government provide health insurance for infants?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 253-284, February.
    17. Glick, Peter & Sahn, David E., 1999. "Schooling of girls and boys in a West African country: the effects of parental education, income, and household structure," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 63-87, February.
    18. Kenneth Harttgen & Stefan Lang & Johannes Seiler, 2017. "Selective mortality and undernutrition in low- and middle-income countries," Working Papers 2017-27, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    19. Alderman, Harold & Lokshin, Michael & Radyakin, Sergiy, 2011. "Tall claims: Mortality selection and the height of children in India," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 393-406.
    20. Eric Jensen & Dennis Ahlburg, 2002. "Family Size, Unwantedness, And Child Health And Health Care Utilisation In Indonesia," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 43-59.

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