Infant mortality over the business cycle in the developing world
The diffusion of cost-effective life saving technologies has reduced infant mortality in much of the developing world. Income gains may also play a direct, protective role in ensuring child survival, although the empirical findings to date on this issue have been mixed. This paper assembles data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in 59 countries to analyze the relationship between changes in per capita GDP and infant mortality. The authors show that there is a strong, negative association between changes in per capita GDP and infant mortality- in a first-differenced specification the implied elasticity of infant mortality with respect to per capita GDP is approximately -0.56. In addition to this central result, two findings are noteworthy. First, although there is some evidence of changes in the composition of women giving birth during economic upturns and downturns, the observed changes in infant mortality are not a result of mothers with protective characteristics timing fertility to correspond with the business cycle. Second, the association between infant mortality and per capita GDP is particularly pronounced for periods of large contractions in GDP, suggesting the inability of developing country households or health systems (or both) to smooth resources. Simple back-of-the-envelope calculations using the estimates suggest that there may have been more than 1 million"excess"deaths in the developing world since 1980 as a result of large, negative contractions in per capita GDP.
|Date of creation:||01 Sep 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4346. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.