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Socio-Economic Factors in Infant and Child Mortality: A Cross-National Comparison

J. N. Hobcraft, J. W. McDonald and S. O. Rutstein
Population Studies
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Jul., 1984), pp. 193-223
DOI: 10.2307/2174073
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2174073
Page Count: 31
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Socio-Economic Factors in Infant and Child Mortality: A Cross-National Comparison
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Abstract

In this paper five socio-economic correlates of infant and child mortality are considered using results from World Fertility Survey enquiries in 28 developing countries. We consider differences in mortality for segments of life during the first five years on each of the following variables: mother's education, mother's work status, husband's occupation, husband's education and type of place of residence. A simple tabular analysis is followed by a multivariate approach in order to assess the relative importance of each of the five variables. In general, differences are most strongly associated with only three of the variables considered: mother's education and the husband's occupation and education. Socio-economic differences increase with age through the first five years of life. Levels of mother's education seem to be particularly strongly associated with mortality during the first five years of life in the Asian countries, while husband's education is more important in the Americas. Child mortality for the few African countries is found to be relatively strongly associated with husband's occupation and education. Socio-economic differences, especially for mortality between the first and fourth birthday, are often appallingly large.

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