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Trends and socioeconomic gradients in adult mortality around the developing world

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  • de Walque, Damien
  • Filmer, Deon

Abstract

The authors combine data from 84 Demographic and Health Surveys from 46 countries to analyze trends and socioeconomic differences in adult mortality, calculating mortality based on the sibling mortality reports collected from female respondents aged 15-49. The analysis yields four main findings. First, adult mortality is different from child mortality: while under-5 mortality shows a definite improving trend over time, adult mortality does not, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The second main finding is the increase in adult mortality in Sub-Saharan African countries. The increase is dramatic among those most affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Mortality rates in the highest HIV-prevalence countries of southern Africa exceed those in countries that experienced episodes of civil war. Third, even in Sub-Saharan countries where HIV-prevalence is not as high, mortality rates appear to be at best stagnating, and even increasing in several cases. Finally, the main socioeconomic dimension along which mortality appears to differ in the aggregate is gender. Adult mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa have risen substantially higher for men than for women—especially so in the high HIV-prevalence countries. On the whole, the data do not show large gaps by urban/rural residence or by school attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • de Walque, Damien & Filmer, Deon, 2011. "Trends and socioeconomic gradients in adult mortality around the developing world," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5716, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5716
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. D. de Walque & P. Verwimp, 2010. "The Demographic and Socio-economic Distribution of Excess Mortality during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(2), pages 141-162, March.
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    3. Emmanuela Gakidou & Gary King, 2006. "Death by survey: Estimating adult mortality without selection bias from sibling survival data," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(3), pages 569-585, August.
    4. Filmer,Deon P., 2002. "Fever and its treatment among the more and less poor in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2798, The World Bank.
    5. Richard A. Easterlin, 1980. "Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number east80-1, December.
    6. de Walque, Damien, 2007. "How does the impact of an HIV/AIDS information campaign vary with educational attainment? Evidence from rural Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 686-714, November.
    7. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2005. "Sibling Similarity and Difference in Socioeconomic Status: Life Course and Family Resource Effects," NBER Working Papers 11320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    9. Davidson R. Gwatkin & Adam Wagstaff & Abdo S. Yazbeck, 2005. "Reaching the Poor with Health, Nutrition, and Population Services : What Works, What Doesn't, and Why," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7393.
    10. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
    11. Damien Walque, 2005. "Selective Mortality During the Khmer Rouge Period in Cambodia," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(2), pages 351-368.
    12. Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2001), pages 1-44, August.
    13. Dahan, Momi & Gaviria, Alejandro, 2001. "Sibling Correlations and Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(3), pages 537-554, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. De Walque Damien & Filmer Deon, 2012. "The Socioeconomic Distribution of Adult Mortality during Conflicts in Africa," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(3), pages 1-12, December.
    2. Stéphane Helleringer & Gilles Pison & Almamy Kanté & Géraldine Duthé & Armelle Andro, 2014. "Reporting Errors in Siblings’ Survival Histories and Their Impact on Adult Mortality Estimates: Results From a Record Linkage Study in Senegal," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(2), pages 387-411, April.

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    Keywords

    Population Policies; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Demographics; Statistical&Mathematical Sciences; Early Child and Children's Health;

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