Volume 18 - Article 11 | Pages 311–336

Correlated mortality risks of siblings in Kenya: The role of state dependence

By Walter Rasugu Omariba, Fernando Rajulton, Roderic Beaujot

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:20 Jun 2006
Date published:23 Apr 2008
Word count:8099
Keywords:death clustering, initial conditions problem, Kenya, logit model, sequence data, state dependence, unobserved heterogeneity


Random-effect models have been useful in demonstrating how unobserved factors are related to infant or child death clustering. Another potential hypothesis is state dependence whereby the death of an older sibling affects the risk of death of a subsequent sibling. Probit regression models incorporating state dependence and unobserved heterogeneity are applied to the 1998 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data for Kenya. We find that mortality risks of adjacent siblings are dependent: a child whose preceding sibling died is 1.8 times more likely to die. After adjusting for unobserved heterogeneity, the death of the previous child accounts for 40% of child death clustering. Further, eliminating state dependence would reduce infant mortality among second- and higher-order births by 12.5%.

Author's Affiliation

Walter Rasugu Omariba - Statistics Canada, Canada [Email]
Fernando Rajulton - University of Western Ontario, Canada [Email]
Roderic Beaujot - Western University, Canada [Email]

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» “One hand does not bring up a child:” Child fostering among single mothers in Nairobi slums
Volume 46 - Article 30    | Keywords: Kenya

» Measuring extended families over time in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya: Retention and data consistency in a two-round survey
Volume 38 - Article 44    | Keywords: Kenya

» Ideation and intention to use contraceptives in Kenya and Nigeria
Volume 33 - Article 8    | Keywords: Kenya

» An empirical analysis of the importance of controlling for unobserved heterogeneity when estimating the income-mortality gradient
Volume 31 - Article 30    | Keywords: unobserved heterogeneity

» Unobserved population heterogeneity: A review of formal relationships
Volume 31 - Article 22    | Keywords: unobserved heterogeneity