Child mortality in rural India

Bas van der Klaauw
Limin Wang

September 2004

This paper focuses on infant and child mortality in rural areas of India. We construct a flexible duration model framework, which allows for frailty at multiple levels and interactions between the child's age and individual, socio-economic and environmental characteristics. The model is estimated using the 1998/1999 wave of the Indian National Family and Health Survey. The estimation results show that socio-economic and environmental characteristics have significantly different impacts on mortality rates at different ages. These are particularly important immediately after birth. We use the estimated model for policy experiments. These indicate that child mortality can be reduced substantially, particularly by improving the education of women and reducing indoor air pollution caused by dirty cooking fuels.

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Last updated: September 16, 2004.