Recent Trends in Mortality Inequality among African Children

Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Cornell University
Gervais Beninguisse, Institut de Formation et de Recherche Demographiques (IFORD)
Parfait Owoundi, Institut de Formation et de Recherche Demographiques (IFORD)

This paper uses Cameroon as a case study and three waves of Demographic and Health Surveys to investigate recent trends in mortality inequality among children. The paper further uses decomposition methods to estimate how these changes in inequality are associated with: (1) increased interhousehold inequality, (2) differential fertility decline, (3) privatization, e.g., changing health returns to SES, and (4) general health environment, e.g., baseline mortality. Preliminary analyses of the data show important non-linearities in the SES gradient in mortality and suggest the importance of general health environment and differential decline in fertility. In countries such as Cameroon that have experienced recent stalling of health transitions, studies of this kind can shed light on the relative contributions of economic and demographic policy in shaping future gains in child mortality and in reducing mortality inequality.

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Presented in Session 19: Social Contexts and Child Health