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

Author

Listed:
  • Gerald Makepeace

    (Cardiff Business School)

  • Sarmistha Pal

    (Department of Economics & Finance, Brunel University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald Makepeace & Sarmistha Pal, 2005. "Understanding the Effects of Siblings on Child Mortality: Evidence from India," HEW 0509010, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0509010
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 35. Revised version
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maitra, Pushkar, 2004. "Parental bargaining, health inputs and child mortality in India," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 259-291, March.
    2. Kynch, Jocelyn & Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Indian Women: Well-Being and Survival," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(3-4), pages 363-380, September.
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    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul G. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2004. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Composition on Children's Education," NBER Working Papers 10720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. William L. Parish & Robert J. Willis, 1993. "Daughters, Education, and Family Budgets Taiwan Experiences," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 863-898.
    8. Ashish Garg & Jonathan Morduch, 1998. "Sibling rivalry and the gender gap: Evidence from child health outcomes in Ghana," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(4), pages 471-493.
    9. 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 567-589, October.
    10. Panis, Constantijn W. A. & Lillard, Lee A., 1994. "Health inputs and child mortality: Malaysia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 455-489.
    11. Siân Curtis & Ian Diamond & John McDonald, 1993. "Birth interval and family effects on postneonatal mortality in Brazil," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(1), pages 33-43, February.
    12. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John, 1992. "Prices, infrastructure, household characteristics and child height," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 301-331, October.
    13. Kristin F. Butcher & Anne Case, 1994. "The Effect of Sibling Sex Composition on Women's Education and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 531-563.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bas Klaauw & Limin Wang, 2011. "Child mortality in rural India," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 601-628, April.
    2. Kravdal, Øystein, 2016. "New evidence about effects of reproductive variables on child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa," Memorandum 17/2016, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Kazianga, Harounan & Klonner, Stefan, 2009. "The Intra-household Economics of Polygyny: Fertility and Child Mortality in Rural Mali," MPRA Paper 12859, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Thong Pham & Peter Kooreman & Ruud Koning & Doede Wiersma, 2013. "Gender patterns in Vietnam’s child mortality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 303-322, January.
    5. Maitra, Pushkar & Pal, Sarmistha, 2008. "Birth spacing, fertility selection and child survival: Analysis using a correlated hazard model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 690-705, May.
    6. Kelly Jones, 2014. "Growing Up Together: Cohort Composition and Child Investment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 229-255, February.
    7. Eiji Yamamura, 2015. "Effects of Siblings and Birth Order on Income Redistribution Preferences: Evidence Based on Japanese General Social Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 589-606, April.
    8. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Effects of siblings and birth order on income redistribution preferences," MPRA Paper 38658, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sibling competition; Age and gender composition; Birth spacing; Child mortality; Pro-male bias; Unobserved heterogeneity.;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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