The linked survival prospects of siblings : evidence for\ud the Indian states

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Arulampalam, Wiji ; Bhalotra, Sonia

This paper reports an analysis of micro-data for India that shows a high correlation in infant mortality\ud among siblings. In 13 of 15 states, we identify a causal effect of infant death on the risk of infant death of the\ud subsequent sibling (a scarring effect), after controlling for mother-level heterogeneity. The scarring effects\ud are large, the only other covariate with a similarly large effect being mother’s (secondary or higher)\ud education. The two states in which evidence of scarring is weak are Punjab, the richest, and Kerala, the\ud socially most progressive. The size of the scarring effect depends upon the sex of the previous child in three\ud states, in a direction consistent with son-preference. Evidence of scarring implies that policies targeted at\ud reducing infant mortality will have social multiplier effects by helping avoid the death of subsequent\ud siblings. Comparison of other covariate effects across the states offers some interesting new insights.
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