Child mortality reflects a country's level of socio-economic development and quality of life. In developing countries, mortality rates are not only influenced by socio-economic, demographic and health variables but they also vary considerably across regions and districts. In this paper, we analysed child mortality in Nigeria with flexible geoadditive discrete-time survival models. This class of models allows us to measure small-area district-specific spatial effects simultaneously with possibly non-linear or time-varying effects of other factors. Inference is fully Bayesian and uses computationally efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation techniques. The application is based on the 1999 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Our method assesses effects at a high level of temporal and spatial resolution not available with traditional parametric models, and the results provide some evidence on how to reduce child mortality by improving socio-economic and public health conditions.
Copyright (c) 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.