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COVID-19 Lockdown and Neonatal Mortality: Evidence from India

Abu Shonchoy, Shatakshee Dhongde and Erdal Asker ()
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Erdal Asker: Department of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology

No 2303, Working Papers from Florida International University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Using nationally representative data from India, we document the first survey-based evidence of the unintended consequences of lockdown on neonatal mortality in a developing country. Event-study shows neonatal mortality significantly increased during the first nationwide lockdown and became insignificant one-month later. The difference-in-difference estimates show neonatal mortality increased to 47 from 30 per 1,000 births during the lockdown. Negative in-utero exposure, forgone healthcare (through service interruption and avoidance), and delaying vaccinations are crucial impact mechanisms. Our findings stimulate the debate on the efficacy of strict lockdown, its duration, and missing policy directives in resource-poor countries, particularly for the care-dependent population.

Keywords: COVID-19; India; Neonatal and nfant mortality; Lockdown; In-utero exposure; Child vaccinations; Antenatal care visits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I18 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 59 pages
Date: 2023-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-hea
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