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Understanding the Effects of Siblings on Child Mortality: Evidence from India

  • Gerald Makepeace

    (Cardiff Business School)

  • Sarmistha Pal

    (Department of Economics & Finance, Brunel University)

This paper examines the efffect of siblings on child mortality in the Indian state of West Bengal arguing that prior and posterior spacing between consecutive siblings are important measures of the intensity of competition among siblings for limited resources. Parental decisions regarding spacing is endogenous to allocation of resources though available estimates of child mortality largely ignore it. To correct for this possible endogeneity bias, we allow for family specific unobserved heterogeneity and model birth spacing and child mortality as correlated processes within a sequential framework. These corrected estimates suggest: (a) the hazard of prior spacing may increase while that of posterior spacing decrease with mother’s literacy and household assets. (b) the chances of child survival increase with an increase in both prior and posterior birth interval but decrease with the birth of a twin. (c) prior and posterior birth intervals have different effects on young boys and girls, which, in turn, reflect the nature of decisions made by resource constrained parents characterised by pro-male bias.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/hew/papers/0509/0509010.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0509010.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 27 Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0509010
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 35. Revised version
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard, 1994. "Education, Marriage, and First Conception in Malaysia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1167-1204.
  2. Parish, W.L. & Willis, R.J., 1992. "Daughters, Education, and Family Budgets: Taiwan Experiences," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  3. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2004. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Composition on Children's Education," IZA Discussion Papers 1269, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1982. "Parental Preferences and Provision for Progeny," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 52-73, February.
  5. Lillard, L.A. & Willis, R.J., 1993. "Intergenerational Educational Mobility: Efects of Family and State in Malaysia," Papers 93-38, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  6. Kynch, Jocelyn & Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Indian Women: Well-Being and Survival," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(3-4), pages 363-80, September.
  7. Anderson, Kathryn H, 1983. "The Determination of Fertility, Schooling, and Child Survival in Guatemala," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 567-89, October.
  8. Lillard, L.A. & Panis, C.W.A., 1993. "Health Inputs and Child Mortality: Malaysia," Papers 93-03, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  9. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1992. "Prices, infrastructure, household characteristics and child height," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 301-331, October.
  10. Butcher, Kristin F & Case, Anne, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-63, August.
  11. Maitra, Pushkar, 2004. "Parental bargaining, health inputs and child mortality in India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 259-291, March.
  12. Ashish Garg & Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Sibling rivalry and the gender gap: Evidence from child health outcomes in Ghana," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 471-493.
  13. Siân Curtis & Ian Diamond & John McDonald, 1993. "Birth interval and family effects on postneonatal mortality in Brazil," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 33-43, February.
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