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How the New International Goal for Child Mortality is Unfair to Sub-Saharan Africa (Again)

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  • Simon Lange

    (Georg-August University Göttingen)

  • Stephan Klasen

    (University of Göttingen)

Abstract

The post-2015 development includes level-end goals for both under-five and neonatal mortality to be obtained by 2030: no more than 25 and 12 deaths per 1,000 births, respectively. Recent accelerations in the rate of reduction in under-five mortality have been cited as a cause for optimism. In this paper, we show that changes in mortality rates are subject to mean reversion. Hence, high rates observed recently for Sub-Saharan Africa make for an overly optimistic estimate of future reductions. Taking this into account in projecting mortality rates until 2030, we find that only very few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are likely to attain the new targets while a majority of countries elsewhere are likely to attain the target or have done so already. We also show that while MDG4 has been rightly criticized as `unfair' to Sub-Saharan Africa in the past, a relative target may have been more appropriate today and would be relevant for all countries. We also offer a discussion of likely challenges the region faces in making further inroads against preventable deaths.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Lange & Stephan Klasen, 2016. "How the New International Goal for Child Mortality is Unfair to Sub-Saharan Africa (Again)," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 214, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:214
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    MDGs; SDGs; under-five mortality; Sub-Saharan Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy

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