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Gomes, Joseph Flavian
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
ISER Working Paper Series 2014-33
We show that ethnic distances can explain the ethnic inequalities in child mortality rates in Africa. Using individual level micro data from DHS surveys for fourteen Sub-Saharan African countries combined with a novel high resolution dataset on the spatial distribution of ethnic groups we show that children whose mothers have a higher linguistic distance from their neighbours have a higher probability of dying. Fractionalization reduces the probability of child death. We argue that fractionalization re ects a higher stock of knowledge and information leading to better health outcomes. Knowledge does not ow smoothly to linguistically distant groups. Linguistically distant mothers also have a lower probability of knowing about the oral rehydration product (ORS) for treating children with diarrhoea.
child mortality
ethnic inequality
ethnic/linguistic distance
ethno-linguistic diversity
health inequalities
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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