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Disease eradication, infant mortality and fertility response: Evidence from malaria eradication in India

Shampa Bhattacharjee,
Published in Taylor & Francis

Using a massive malaria eradication program in India during the 1950s as a natural experiment, we examine the effects of disease environment on child health outcomes and fertility. We harmonize a rich dataset on malaria endemicity with fertility histories of women to exploit the cohort level variation in exposure to the program. We find that the program leads to a significant decline in infant and neonatal mortality and leads to a significant increase in the probability of birth during adolescent years in high malaria-endemic regions. We confirm that a fall in the mother's age at first birth in the post-eradication period drives the fertility response.

About the journal
JournalThe Journal of Development Studies
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Open AccessNo