Volume 45 - Article 24 | Pages 807–824

Maternal education and infant mortality decline: The evidence from Indonesia, 1980–2015

By Jona Schellekens

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Date received:13 Aug 2020
Date published:14 Sep 2021
Word count:2341
Keywords:infant mortality, maternal education


Background: Better maternal education has been credited with making a major contribution to infant mortality decline. Most of the evidence is based on cross-sectional analyses, which show a strong correlation between maternal education and infant mortality. However, cross-sectional analyses do not provide an estimate of the contribution of maternal education to infant mortality decline.

Objective: The major objective is to obtain a more accurate estimate of the contribution of maternal education to infant mortality decline.

Methods: Pooling data from all available phases of the Demographic and Health Survey, this article presents a longitudinal, individual-level analysis of the determinants of trends in infant mortality in Indonesia.

Results: Better maternal education explains 15% of the infant mortality decline in Indonesia from 1980 to 2015.

Contribution: The article presents the results of the largest individual-level study of its kind in terms of length of the period covered and number of infants involved.

Author's Affiliation

Jona Schellekens - Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel [Email]

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» Religiosity and marital fertility among Muslims in Israel
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