Mortality Change and Child Survival from the Point of View of a Prospective Mother
Iván Williams1, Diego Alburez-Gutierrez2
1University of Buenos Aires, 2Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Individuals are poor arbiters of macro-level demographic change. For example, it would be difficult for a given woman to infer the existence of a population-level decline in infant mortality from her own experience of child survival alone. Here, we establish the relationship between population-level demographic change and child survival for mothers in a stable population framework. We build on existing formal demographic work, mainly the Goodman, Keyfitz and Pullum kinship equations, to characterize the effect of a change in all-age mortality or mortality at specific ages on child survival.  After establishing the nature of the relationship, we introduce two related measures to characterize numerically the experience of maternal bereavement. Finally, we use empirical data from Latin America to exemplify our findings and to show that our proposed method yields acceptable approximations.