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Environmental determinants of child mortality in rural china : A competing risks approach


  • Jacoby, Hanan
  • Wang, Limin


We use a competing risk model to analyze environmental determinants of child mortality using the 1992 China National Health Survey, which collects information on cause of death. Our primary question is whether taking into account of cause of death using a competing risk model, compared with a simple model of all-cause mortality, affects conclusions about the effectiveness of policy interventions. There are two potential analytical advantages in using cause of death information: (1) obtaining more accurate estimates and (2) validating causal relationships. Although, we do not find significant differences between estimates obtained from the competing risk model and those from simpler hazard models, we do find evidence supporting the causal interpretations of the effect of access to safe water on child mortality. Our analysis also suggests that a respondent-based health survey can be used to collect relatively reliable information on cause of death. Modifying future demographic and health survey (DHS) instruments to collect cause of death information inexpensively may be worthwhile for enhancing the analytical strength of the DHS.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacoby, Hanan & Wang, Limin, 2004. "Environmental determinants of child mortality in rural china : A competing risks approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3241, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3241

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    2. Thomas, Duncan & Lavy, Victor & Strauss, John, 1996. "Public policy and anthropometric outcomes in the Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 155-192, August.
    3. Lee, Lung-fei & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Pitt, Mark M., 1997. "The effects of improved nutrition, sanitation, and water quality on child health in high-mortality populations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 209-235, March.
    4. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
    5. Thomas, D. & Lavy, V. & Strauss, J., 1992. "Public Policy and Anthropometric Outcomes in Cote d'Ivoire," Papers 89, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Jing, 2012. "The impact of water quality on health: Evidence from the drinking water infrastructure program in rural China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 122-134.
    2. Manoj K. Pandey, 2009. "Maternal Health and Child Mortality in Rural India," ASARC Working Papers 2009-12, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    3. World Bank, 2007. "Poverty and Environment : Understanding Linkages at the Household Level," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7744, The World Bank.
    4. World Bank, 2007. "Poverty and Environment : Understanding Linkages at the Household Level," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6924, March.


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