Titelaufnahme

Titel
Birth order, fertility, and child height in India and Africa / Dean Spears (University of of Texas at Austin, Indian Statistical Institute and IZA), Diane Coffey (University of of Texas at Austin and Indian Statistical Institute), Jere R. Behrman (University of Pennsylvania) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics
VerfasserSpears, Dean ; Coffey, Diane ; Behrman, Jere R.
KörperschaftForschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit
ErschienenBonn, Germany : IZA Institute of Labor Economics, April 2019
Ausgabe
Elektronische Ressource
Umfang1 Online-Ressource (34, A-36 Seiten) : Diagramme
SerieDiscussion paper ; no. 12289
URNurn:nbn:de:hbz:5:2-187401 
Zugriffsbeschränkung
 Das Dokument ist öffentlich zugänglich im Rahmen des deutschen Urheberrechts.
Volltexte
Birth order, fertility, and child height in India and Africa [0.8 mb]
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Zusammenfassung (Englisch)

The poor state of child health in India has generated a number of puzzles that have received attention in the literature. A recent focus on birth order has produced contradictory results. Coffey and Spears (2019) document an early-life survival advantage in India accruing to later birth orders, which they interpret as the result of a pattern of improving maternal nutrition over mothers' childbearing careers. In apparent contrast, Jayachandran and Pande (2017) show, using the same set of demographic surveys, a disadvantage in child height for later birth orders in India relative to Africa's birth order gradient. They interpret this pattern as discrimination against later birth-order children in India. This paper resolves the apparent contradiction, showing how differing correlations between sibsize (a child's number of siblings) and household wellbeing can account for the empirical findings of both studies: A mother having higher fertility, rather than lower, implies more socioeconomic disadvantage within India than within Africa. Accounting for sibsize reverses the apparent Indian laterborn disadvantage in child height, reversing the interpretation of Jayachandran and Pande. In short, a child's sibsize (or, equivalently, its mother's fertility) is an omitted variable in Jayachandran and Pandes analysis of birth order effects. Resolving these puzzles is critical for human development policy to combat the enduring challenges of disproportionately high rates of stunting and neonatal death in India, where one-fifth of global births occur.