Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Economics / Economic Policy
The purpose of this study is to contribute to the existing knowledge on determinants of child health status. Such knowledge may assist in formulating policy in a number of areas especially with regard to child care and development. The aggregate analysis is based on purchasing power parity adjusted per capita real gross domestic product at 1985 prices (per capita RGDP ) and its distribution, and their relationship to life expectancy at birth and infant mortality rate. We find quantitatively important and statistically significant relationships between life expectancy and infant mortality rates and per capita RGDP . The relationship is well represented by a quadratic spline model that shows a diminishing contribution of income to health status as per capita income grows. We further incorporate selected socio-economic indicators and show that literacy levels have significant impacts on infant mortality and life expectancy. Overall, income distribution did not seem to matter controlling for the nonlinear effect of per capita income on health. The potential importance of the non-linear effect is illustrated by simulation exercises that show that redistributing income may improve overall health status especially in the middle income, but has little effect at lower and higher per capita income ranges. The micro-economic (household) analysis utilizes demographic and health survey data sets for Kenya. Using the logit model we estimate the probability of child survival conditional on certain household, parental and socioeconomic factors. Results show that mother's age and education, presence of other young siblings in the household, presence of other wives, marital status and breast-feeding have quantitatively important and statistically significant impacts on the child's survival. Policy implications are discussed.
Aswani, Fredrick, "Topics in development, income inequality and health" (2000). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2412.