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Low-cost sibling methods for measuring adult mortality

Bruno Masquelier, Louvain University (UCL)
Ashira Menashe-Oren, Universite catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Georges Reniers, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Ian M. Timaeus, LSHTM

Sibling survival histories are widely used to estimate adult mortality in low- and middle-income countries with deficient death registration statistics. However, collecting full sibling histories is time-consuming because they require asking questions about ages at survey time or ages at death and time of death. Using data from 53 countries and microsimulations, we evaluate the performance of an indirect method requiring only summary sibling histories (the total number of siblings who reached 15 years and those alive at the time of the survey). We also introduce two new period-derived methods which focus on recent deaths, using a synthetic cohort approach or imputing a date of birth for each sibling based on the age of the respondent. We demonstrate that reliable estimates can be obtained from summary sibling histories, opening up new possibilities for measuring mortality through censuses or rapid surveys conducted in settings disrupted by conflict, disaster, or epidemics.

Keywords: Mathematical demography, Mortality, Simulation, COVID-19

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 183. Measurement of Mortality and Causes of Death