Determinants of the Rise in Early Childhood Mortality in Kenya: Adversity or Shift in the Structure of Relationships?

Collins Opiyo, University of Pennsylvania

Early childhood mortality in Kenya increased in the 1990s after three decades of decline. A few studies investigating this phenomenon have focused on the role of adverse trends in the explanatory variables. However, none has examined the potential role of a shifting structure of relationships such as observed in some Latin American and Asian countries. This study explores the recent rise in early childhood mortality in Kenya, particularly the role of changes in the values of the explanatory variables vis-à-vis the structure of relationships. Analysis is based on pooled individual-level data from the four Kenyan Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 1989, 1993, 1998, and 2003. Cox regression is used for multivariate analysis. By splitting the pooled data into declining (1979-89) and rising (1990-03) periods, we are able to examine whether the structure of relationships shifted, and estimate the contribution of key explanatory variables as well.

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Presented in Session 154: Infant and Child Mortality II