Vietnam has experienced rapid economic growth following the transition, which began in the mid 1980s, from a planned agriculture based economy to a more market orientated one. In this paper, the associations between socioeconomic variables and mortality for 41,000 adults in Northern Vietnam followed from January 1999 to March 2008 are estimated using Cox's proportionally hazard models. Also, we use decomposition techniques to investigate the relative importance of socioeconomic factors for explaining inequality in age-standardized mortality risk. The results confirm previously found negative associations between mortality and income and education, for both men and women. We also found that marital status, at least for men, explain a large and growing part of the inequality. Finally, estimation results for relative education variables suggest that there exist positive spillover effects of education, meaning that higher education of one's neighbors or spouse might reduce ones mortality risk.
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