Economic cycles and child mortality: A cross-national study of the least developed countries

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Abstract

This paper examines the effects of growth and recession periods on child mortality in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) during the period 1990–2010. We provide empirical evidence of uneven effects of variations in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita on the evolution of child mortality rate in periods of economic recession and expansion. A decrease in GDP per capita entails a significant rise in child mortality rates, whereas an increase does not affect child mortality significantly. In this context, official development assistance seems to play a crucial role in counteracting the increment in child mortality rates in recession periods, at least in those LDCs receiving greater aid.

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