Mortality, Fertility and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from Immunization Program in India

Abstract

I exploit the shock to mortality caused by the Universal Immunization Program in India to study the impact of declining child mortality on fertility and human capital investment decisions of households. Between 1980 and 1990, immunization rates for the main childhood diseases in India increased 50 to 60 percentage points. Using country-level changes in immunization rates interacted with state-level initial mortality in 1980 as an instrument for child mortality changes, I find that a 1 percentage point decline in child mortality reduces births last year by about 5 percent, and increases female schooling by 0.4 years, an increase of about 7 percent. While previous papers have focused on the "horizon effect" where declines in adult mortality increase human capital accumulation, my findings point to another mechanism of the quantity/quality tradeoff that works through child mortality and fertility declines. JEL Codes: O12, J13, J22, I21

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Turan2011MortalityFA, title={Mortality, Fertility and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from Immunization Program in India}, author={Belgi Turan}, year={2011} }