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Persistence in Infant Mortality: Evidence for the Indian States

Author

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  • Arulampalam, Wiji

    () (University of Warwick)

  • Bhalotra, Sonia R.

    () (University of Essex)

Abstract

This paper investigates the high correlation in infant mortality across siblings using micro-data for each of the fifteen major states of India. The main finding is that, in thirteen of the fifteen states, there is evidence of a causal effect of a child death on the risk of death of the subsequent child in the same family (a scarring effect), which is identified after controlling for observed and unobserved heterogeneity at the family level. The two states in which evidence of scarring is weak are Punjab, the richest, and Kerala, the state that is most advanced in socio-economic terms. In the other states, scarring effects are large. Indeed, the only other covariate that has a marginal effect on mortality that is as big, or bigger, than the survival status of a preceding sibling is an indicator for mothers having attained secondary or higher levels of education. These results show that policies targeted at reducing infant mortality will have social multiplier effects through helping avoid the death of subsequent siblings. The size of the scarring effect depends upon the gender of the previous child in three states, in a direction consistent with son-preference. Comparison of other covariate effects across the states offers some new insights, there being no previous research that has compared the determinants of infant mortality across the Indian states.

Suggested Citation

  • Arulampalam, Wiji & Bhalotra, Sonia R., 2006. "Persistence in Infant Mortality: Evidence for the Indian States," IZA Discussion Papers 2488, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2488
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bhalotra, Sonia & Soest, Arthur van, 2008. "Birth-spacing, fertility and neonatal mortality in India: Dynamics, frailty, and fecundity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 143(2), pages 274-290, April.
    2. Rabbani, Sarah & Qayyun, Abdul, 2015. "Comparative Analysis of Factor Affecting Child Mortality in Pakistan," MPRA Paper 66533, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Ali, Amjad & Bibi, Chan, 2016. "Determinants of Social Progress and its Scenarios under the role of Macroeconomic Instability: Empirics from Pakistan," MPRA Paper 72920, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender; persistence; India; state dependence; unobserved heterogeneity; scarring; dynamic random effects logit; siblings; infant mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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