Academic journal article Atlantic Economic Journal

Infant Mortality: A Problem of Income Distribution and Access

Academic journal article Atlantic Economic Journal

Infant Mortality: A Problem of Income Distribution and Access

Article excerpt

Waldman ["Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," QJE 107, 4, November 1992] found that the distribution of income, as well as average income, affects infant mortality rates. Using OLS to estimate the parameters of (1) below, he found that infant mortality rates are higher the greater the income of the wealthiest 5 percent of households, but is lower the greater the income of the middle 75 percent of households, such that:

LINF = [a.sub.0] + [a.sub.1]LLOWY20 + [a.sub.2]LMIDY + [a.sub.3]HIGH5, (1)

where: L signifies log; INF is the infant mortality rate; LOWY20 is the average income of the poorest 20 percent of households; MIDY is the average income of the middle 75 percent of households; and HIGH5 is the share of income of the wealthiest 5 percent of households.

Further analysis using data from 50 developing countries reveals that infant mortality rates are also significantly determined by the density of the population. The more densely a country is populated, the easier the access to health care facilities, and, therefore, a lower infant mortality rate is expected. Countries with less dense populations are likely to have significant portions of the population with little or no health care facilities in their vicinity. …

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