Socioeconomic inequalities in child health in India

Satvika Chalasani, Pennsylvania State University

It has been argued that the unprecedented economic growth experienced by India in the 1990s left the poor of India behind. To the extent that the production of health is a function of economic variables, this suggests the possibility that the unequal income growth lead to unequal improvements in health as well. Data from three Demographic and Health Surveys from 1992-93, 1998-99, and 2005-06, are used to examine levels and trends in economic inequalities in child health. Three different inequality measures are employed to analyze household wealth-based inequalities in child mortality, morbidity, prenatal care usage, and vaccination coverage. Apart from an all-India analysis for all children, the inequality indices are presented separately for each state, for urban and rural areas, and for boys and girls. The basic hypothesis is that within-year economic inequalities in child health generally increased over time, albeit at differential rates by state, urban/rural residence, and gender.

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Presented in Session 87: Poverty and health in the life cycle