Gender differences in child survival in India: what do we know?

Sonalde B. Desai, University of Maryland
Sonya Rastogi, University of Maryland
Reeve Vanneman, University of Maryland

Even as mortality is declining and economic growth is accelerating, juvenile sex ratio in India has become more and more unfavourable towards girls. Research has focused on a number of predictors of excess female child mortality including poverty, family size, education, women’s education, employment and empowerment. However, empirical research consists of a patchwork of often contradictory findings. Results at micro level are often not supported by macro level observations and vice-versa. This paper examines the individual and community level influences on gender differences in infant and child survival in India using data 1998-99 National Family Health Survey which interviewed 89,199 ever-married women. Infant and child survival for 108,002 children born during the past 10 years is examined using hierarchical linear models.

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Presented in Session 186: Demographic aspects of female discrimination: from conception through childhood