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Inequality in Infant Survival Rates in India: Identification of State-Dependence Effects

  • Wiji Arulampalam
  • Sonia Bhalotra

    ()

Data from a number of regions indicate that childhood deaths are unequally distributed across families. This has been identified, in previous research, with (observed and unobserved) heterogeneity between families. In this paper, we investigate whether, on top of these correlated risks, there is a causal process at work within families, whereby the death of a child elevates the risk of death of the succeeding sibling. Borrowing language from the unemployment literature, the causal process is termed state dependence or scarring. To the extent that scarring exists, a social multiplier comes into play, raising the payoff to policies that reduce infant mortality. Acknowledging scarring effects is also potentially relevant to understanding the relation of mortality and fertility behaviour within families. The analysis is conducted using data for the 15 major states of India. Large scarring effects are observed in 14 of the 15 states.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series Bristol Economics Discussion Papers with number 04/558.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:uobdis:04/558
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  1. Wiji Arulampalam & Sonia Bhalotra, 2003. "Sibling Death Clustering in India: Genuine Scarring vs Unobserved Heterogeneity," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 03/552, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Thomas A. Dunn, . "Using Siblings to Estimate the Effect of School Quality on Wages," IPR working papers 96-10, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
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  7. repec:att:wimass:9217 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Robert Kaestner, 1996. "Are Brothers Really Better? Sibling Sex Composition and Educational Achievement Revisited," NBER Working Papers 5521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Behrman, Jere R & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1984. "The Socioeconomic Impact of Schooling in a Developing Country," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 296-303, May.
  12. Narendranathan, Wiji & Elias, Peter, 1993. "Influences of Past History on the Incidence of Youth Unemployment: Empirical Findings for the UK," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 55(2), pages 161-85, May.
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  14. Dean R. Hyslop, 1999. "State Dependence, Serial Correlation and Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Labor Force Participation of Married Women," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1255-1294, November.
  15. DaVanzo, J. & Pebley, A.R., 1993. "Maternal Depletion and Child Survival in Guatemala and Malaysia," Papers 93-18, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  16. Gerald S. Oettinger, 2000. "Sibling Similarity in High School Graduation Outcomes: Causal Interdependency or Unobserved Heterogeneity?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 631-648, January.
  17. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  18. Bolstad W. M & Manda S. O, 2001. "Investigating Child Mortality in Malawi Using Family and Community Random Effects: A Bayesian Analysis," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 96, pages 12-19, March.
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