Association between Economic Growth and Infant Mortality: Evidence from 132 Demographic and Health Surveys from 36 Developing Countries

Ashish Kumar Upadhyay, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Swati Srivastava, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Using nationally representative and repeated cross sectional data from 132 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) from 36 countries carried out during 1990 to 2012 and probit model, this study aims to investigate whether macroeconomic growth (per-head GDP), is associated with reduction in infant mortality in low and middle income countries. Finding suggests that, if a new born died during infancy that child lived in an environment with average per-capita GDP of $2277 compared with $2957 for a child who survived up to first year of life. Result of probit model depicts that, a 10% increase in per-capita GDP is likely to reduce the probability of infant death by 0.001 (95% CI: 0.001-0.0014). Result of two stage probit model also suggests an inverse association between economic growth and infant mortality. These findings are consistent across rural and urban area, poorest wealth quintile, Asia, Latin America, lower-middle income countries and upper-middle income countries.

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Presented in Session 207: Early Life Health and Mortality in the Developing World