Berger, U. and Fahrmeir, Ludwig and Klasen, S.
Dynamic Modelling of Child Mortality in Developing Countries: Application for Zambia.
Collaborative Research Center 386, Discussion Paper 299
In this paper, we analyse the causes of under five mortality in Zambia, with a particular emphasis on assessing possible time-variations in the effects of covariates, i.e. whether the effects of certain covariates vary with the age of the child. The analysis is based on micro data from the 1992 Demographic and health Survey. Employing a Bayesian dynamic logit model for discrete time survival data and Markov-Chain Monte Carlo methods, we find that there are several variables, including the age of the mother and the breastfeeding duration whose effects exhibit distinct age-dependencies. In the case of breastfeeding, this age dependency is intimately linked with the reasons for stopping breastfeeding. Incorporating such age dependencies greatly improves the explanatory power of the model and yields new insights on the differential role of covariates on child survival.