Dying in Silence: A Study on Mortality-Morbidity Gap in India

Tulika Tripathy, Banaras Hindu University
Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Self-reported morbidity i.e. measure of incidence of disease based on reported sickness has an element of subjectivity. Unlike morbidity, mortality is an objective measure based on “external assessment of health”. In India, there are evidences of regions where the reported morbidity is higher, yet the mortality is low and vice versa. Motivated from this opposing observation in morbidity and mortality and from the fact that there is a dearth of literature on exploring the relation between morbidity and mortality in Indian context, this paper studies the difference between morbidity and mortality for Indian States. The study conceptualizes Mortality–Morbidity Index (MMI) and justifies the measure through an axiomatic characterization. An empirical illustration is carried out ranking the States of India as per MMI using data from National Sample Survey. The study also investigates the determinants of MMI by considering State’s income, education, urbanization, health infrastructure, and policy variables.

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Presented in Session 2: Mortality in Comparative Perspective