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Regional dimensions of infant mortality in Brazil

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  • Ana Barufi

    ()

  • Eduardo Haddad

    ()

  • Antonio Paez

Abstract

Development can be understood from many perspectives. Among those, the one proposed by Amartya Sen states that a development policy should aim at expanding the freedom of individuals, and this goal can be achieved by the expansion of capabilities. With this conceptual framework in mind, health, more specifically infant mortality, is chosen as a measure of development and as the object of study. The Government should guarantee the provision of health services, as they consist in meritory goods. Mosley and Chen (1984) propose a theoretical framework to study infant mortality based on the proximal determinants, in which the socioeconomic factors affect the result observed indirectly. In Brazil there has been a substantial reduction of the average levels of infant mortality rates in the last decades. However, there is still a significant regional inequality. Econometric models for 1980, 1991 and 2000 are estimated including a spatial filter in order to account for the spatial dependency observed in the data. The study concludes that health infrastructure lost its explanative power for the differences in infant mortality rate among the localities. On the other hand, socioeconomic variables have become more relevant and significant. It means that future public policies must try to improve the access of the families to public facilities, reduce poverty and inequality and improve educational levels. Therefore, the family-based prevention against health problems should be stimulated, helping to avoid premature death.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Barufi & Eduardo Haddad & Antonio Paez, 2011. "Regional dimensions of infant mortality in Brazil," ERSA conference papers ersa10p198, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p198
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    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa10/ERSA2010finalpaper198.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    4. Elca Rosenberg & Denisard Alves & Christopher Timmins & Robert Evenson, 2000. "Health, Climate and Development in Brazil: A Cross-Section Analysis," Research Department Publications 3086, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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    7. Lucia Hanmer & Robert Lensink & Howard White, 2003. "Infant and child mortality in developing countries: Analysing the data for Robust determinants," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 101-118.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mattos, Enlinson & Pinto, Cristine Campos de Xavier & Teixeira, Lucas, 2015. "Sanitation and health: empirical evidence for Brazilian municipalities," Textos para discussão 392, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

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