Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India: Dynamics, Frailty and Fecundity

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2005-06

43 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2005

See all articles by Sonia R. Bhalotra

Sonia R. Bhalotra

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Arthur van Soest

Tilburg University; Netspar; RAND Corporation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: January 2005

Abstract

A dynamic panel data model of neonatal mortality and birth spacing is analyzed, accounting for causal effects of birth spacing on subsequent mortality and of mortality on the next birth interval, while controlling for unobserved heterogeneity in mortality (frailty) and birth spacing (fecundity). The model is estimated using micro data on about 29000 children of 6700 Indian mothers, for whom a complete retrospective record of fertility and child mortality is available. Information on sterilization is used to identify an equation for completion of family formation that is needed to account for right-censoring in the data. We find clear evidence of frailty, fecundity, and causal effects of birth spacing on mortality and vice versa, but find that birth interval effects can explain only a limited share of the correlation between neonatal mortality of successive children in a family.

Keywords: Fertility, birth spacing, childhood mortality, health, dynamic panel data models, siblings

JEL Classification: J12, J13, C33

Suggested Citation

Bhalotra, Sonia R. and van Soest, Arthur H. O. and van Soest, Arthur H. O., Birth Spacing and Neonatal Mortality in India: Dynamics, Frailty and Fecundity (January 2005). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2005-06, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=670245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.670245

Sonia R. Bhalotra (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Arthur H. O. van Soest

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

Netspar

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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