Birth Spacing and Child Survival: Comparative Evidence from India and Pakistan

58 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2001

See all articles by Pushkar Maitra

Pushkar Maitra

Monash University - Department of Economics

Sarmistha Pal

University of Surrey; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2001

Abstract

This paper argues that the duration between successive children affects child survival (the sibling competition effect) while child survival too affects the duration between successive births (the child replacement effect). This inter-relationship is modelled in terms of a correlated simultaneous hazard model to jointly estimate the hazard of child mortality and that of subsequent birth. The analysis is based on the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 1992-93 household-level data from the Indian province of Punjab and Pakistan Integrated Household Survey (PIHS) 1991 data from the Pakistani Punjab province. Our results support evidence of competition among siblings for limited parental resources so that longer prior and posterior birth spacing lower the hazard of mortality. Parental education has a significant effect on the duration between successive births and there is also some evidence in favour of the son-preference hypothesis. Finally, compared to the 1960s, the hazard of subsequent birth has declined significantly in recent decades in the Indian state, but not so in the Pakistani state, highlighting the differential roles of the political and religious institutions shaping people's attitude towards modern contraception and women's education in the two countries.

Keywords: Birth spacing, Child survival, Correlated simultaneous hazards, Sibling inequality, Resource constraint, Son preference, Differential role of parents

JEL Classification: J13, O10, C41, C24

Suggested Citation

Maitra, Pushkar and Pal, Sarmistha, Birth Spacing and Child Survival: Comparative Evidence from India and Pakistan (October 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=287235 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.287235

Pushkar Maitra (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Sarmistha Pal

University of Surrey ( email )

Stag Hill
Guildford, England GU2 7XH
United Kingdom
01483 683995 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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