Socioeconomic status as a fundamental cause of infant mortality in Bangladesh : is there an education gradient?


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Fundamental Cause Theory asserts that persistent socioeconomic differences in mortality exist because people with higher socioeconomic status possess a wide array of flexible resources, including money, prestige, power, and beneficial social connections that positively affect health outcomes. Medical sociologists have tested the theory in the United States, Canada, and some European countries. However, whether this theory can explain the socioeconomic status and mortality connection in a different sociocultural context is still unexplored. This paper tests fundamental cause theory (FCT) by examining the association between mother’s education and infant mortality in Bangladesh using the MICS-2019 data. Results from logistic regression analyses suggest that education remains a significant predictor of infant mortality. Mothers with higher education reported lower odds of infant mortality compared to mothers with lower education. However, the study did not find support for the claim that the incremental risk of infant mortality reduces with the attainment of each successive education category.