MPIDR Working Paper

Mortality change and its impact on child survival

Williams, I., Alburez-Gutierrez, D.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2021-001, 10 pages.
Rostock, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung (Februar 2021)
Open Access



The Goodman-Keyfitz-Pullum Kinship Equations estimate offspring survival for women in populations with stable levels of mortality and fertility. A separate body of literature has focused on the effects of mortality change on life expectancy. Combining these two approaches allows us to consider the effects of mortality change on offspring survival.


The effect of an all-age mortality increase on child survival is indirectly proportional to the mean age of an average woman's surviving children. Equivalently, the effect is indirectly proportional to the mean time that a woman has spent with her surviving offspring. Generalizing for an age-specific mortality change follows life expectancy treatment.


We bring together two separate traditions in mathematical demography to provide an intuitive understanding of the consequences of mortality change for offspring survival and women's lived experience of child loss. This conceptual framework can be used, for example, to study maternal bereavement in the context of a sustained mortality decline or a sudden mortality crisis.

Schlagwörter: Welt, kinship, maternal and child health, mathematical demography, mortality
Das Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung (MPIDR) in Rostock ist eines der international führenden Zentren für Bevölkerungswissenschaft. Es gehört zur Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, einer der weltweit renommiertesten Forschungsgemeinschaften.