Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper - World Bank Policy Research Working Paper
Title Aggregate income shocks and infant mortality in the developing world
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
URL http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/IW3P/IB/2008/04/02/000158349_20080402​131700/Rendered/PDF/wps4346.pdf
Abstract
The causal role that income plays in determining child health has been discussed and contested in much previous work. The authors revisit this question with an investigation of short-term fluctuations in aggregate income and infant mortality using an unusually large dataset of 59 developing countries, covering over 1.7 million births. The authors show that there is a large, negative association between per capita GDP and infant mortality—on average, a one-unit decrease in log GDP is associated with an increase in mortality of between 18 and 44 infants per 1,000 children born. Given our use of unit data we are able to control for changes in the
characteristics of women giving birth, and for various possible confounding factors, including weather shocks, conflict, female education, and the quality of institutions.
None of these factors have an appreciable effect on our results. Further, female infant mortality is more sensitive than male infant mortality to economic fluctuations,
especially during negative shocks to GDP, suggesting that policies that protect the health status of female infants may be especially important during economic downturns in much of the developing world.

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