ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Laishram LadusinghSubscribe to Laishram Ladusingh

What Explains the Decline in Infant Mortality in Demographically Underdeveloped States in India?

Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have the highest infant mortality rate both in NFHS-3 (2005–06) and NFHS-4 (2015–16); but there has been a noticeable decline in IMRs in both the states during 2005–06 and 2015–16. The study endeavours to explore the factors that explain the decline in infant mortality in these two states. Findings from multiple regression and decomposition analysis attribute low birth weight, age of the mother at birth, mother’s educational attainment, mother’s use of cooking fuel and wealth status as the major contributing factors for the decline in infant mortality between NFHS-3 and NFHS-4.

The High Cost of Dying

The cost of the inpatient care of decedents is much higher than that of survivors at all stages of life. The differential is significantly higher for those residing in rural areas, staying longer in hospitals, utilising private health facilities and suffering from chronic diseases. The difference is due to physicians in private hospitals prescribing more expensive drugs, subjecting patients to more clinical tests and higher charges on utilisation of amenities and facilities. The findings support the absolute income hypothesis that the economically better-off spend more on healthcare and the end-of-life care hypothesis that healthcare expenditure on efforts to save life is high.

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