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Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India Dynamics, Frailty, and Fecundity

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  • Sonia Bhalotra
  • Arthur Van Soest

Abstract

A dynamic panel data model of neonatal mortality and birth spacing is analyzed, accounting for causal effects of birth spacing on subsequent mortality and of mortality on the next birth interval, while controlling for unobserved heterogeneity in mortality (frailty) and birth spacing (fecundity). The model is estimated using micro data on about 29000 children of 6700 Indian mothers, for whom a complete retrospective record of fertility and child mortality is available. Information on sterilization is used to identify an equation for completion of family formation that is needed to account for right-censoring in the data. The authors find clear evidence of frailty, fecundity, and causal effects of birth spacing on mortality and vice versa, but find that birth interval effects can explain only a limited share of the correlation between neonatal mortality of successive children in a family.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonia Bhalotra & Arthur Van Soest, 2005. "Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India Dynamics, Frailty, and Fecundity," Working Papers 219, RAND Corporation.
  • Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:219
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility; birth spacing; childhood mortality; health; dynamic panel data models; siblings;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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