15 October 2019

Best paper award for former YSSP student Mr. Moradhvaj

Former IIASA Young Scientist Summer Program student Mr. Moradhvaj and his IIASA co-authors received the best paper award at the Second Asian Population Forum in Shanghai.

Rural village women studying at Uttar Pradesh, India © Ronnie Dsouza / Dreamstime.com

Rural village women studying at Uttar Pradesh, India © Ronnie Dsouza / Dreamstime.com

For their paper entitled "Education or economic status? Comparing their relative effect on prime age adult death in India using longitudinal survey", former IIASA-YSSP student Moradhvaj and his co-authors World Population Program Director Wolfgang Lutz and former IIASA researcher Nandita Saikia, as well as IIASA scientists Erich Striessnig and Samir KC received the best paper award at the Second Asian Population Forum in Shanghai, China. The paper was Moradhvaj's topic during his participation in the 2019 YSSP, which was made possible by the Jyoti and Kirit Parikh Fellowship. Lutz and Saikia were also his supervisors during this period.

Mr. Moradhvaj is a third year PhD student at Centre for the Study of Regional Development at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India, where he also completed his MPhil degree in population studies in 2016. Moradhvaj research interest includes mortality, morbidity, mathematical  demography, health  economics, gender and development. Prior to join JNU, Moradhvaj completed his Master degree in Population Studies form International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, India. The title of his PhD thesis is “Changing Adult Mortality in India: Socio-Economic and Subnational Patterns".

The Asian Population Forum is one of the main platforms of the Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis to exchange research ideas and experiences of its collaborating institutes in comparative analysis of population dynamics across Asia. The forum was organized by the Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI) at Shanghai University, the headquarter of the Asian MetaCentre and was held between 11-12 October in Shanghai, China.


Education or economic status? Comparing their relative effect on prime age adult death in India using longitudinal survey

Introduction. Improvement in the health status of the population is closely related to its level of socio-economic development. Several studies emphasized on the relationship between mortality and socio-economic status measured through importance of occupation, income, wealth and education (Pamuk, Fuchs & Lutz  2011; Lutz & Kebede 2018). However, research seeking to understand the relationship of education and economic status of individuals with adult mortality is an unexplored phenomenon in developing countries. This study examines relative effect of two primary aspects of development, education and economic resources on prime age adult mortality in more comprehensive way than has been done before in India.

Methodology. Using the data from a national sample of 115781 Indian adults aged 15-59 years form India Human Development Survey (IHDS) of wave 1, conducted in 2004–2005 and wave 2, conducted in 2011–2012, this study analyses the relative effect of educational attainment and economic status on prime age adult deaths between 2004-05  and 2011-12 in India. Using the two-level logistic regression model accounting clustering with in the communities, we have estimated the independent effect of educational attainment and economic resources measured at individual and community level on prime age adult mortality.

Results. Around 3% adults died in prime age group between 2004-05 and 2011-12, while the percentage of male dying is higher compared to females. Education level and economic status at individual level have significant effect on  prime adult’s death with  simultaneous adjustment for economic status and education level along with other predictors. The decline in the risk of prime age adult death with increasing education level is greater than the decline associated with rising wealth quintile. Community level education is apparent to reduce the risk of dying among females. Female residing in a community with higher average level of education remains independently associated with a significant reduction in the risk of mortality, while average wealth quintile at community level does not have significant effect. Interaction  analysis between education level and economic status show that the probability of prime age adult death decline with increasing the level of education with similar pattern across all economic groups. Meanwhile, the risk of death does not change among similar level of education with the increasing of the economic status.

Conclusions. Effect of education attainment reduction on the likelihood prime age adult mortality is highly significant and greater than economic status in India. The pattern founded in this study suggests that education should be considered as policy priority for improving the adult mortality in developing countries like India. A further research can be done to explore the possible pathway through which the education attainment and economic status affect the prime age adult mortality.


Pamuk, E. R., Fuchs, R., & Lutz, W. (2011). Comparing relative effects of education and economic resources on infant mortality in developing countries. Population and Development Review, 37(4), 637-664.

Lutz, W., & Kebede, E. (2018). Education and health: Redrawing the Preston curve. Population and Development Review, 44(2), 343.

Print this page

Last edited: 12 March 2020


Wolfgang Lutz

Senior Program Advisor Population and Just Societies Program

Principal Research Scholar Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Research at IIASA's World Population Program


Population dynamics across Asia

11 Oct 2019 - 12 Oct 2019

IIASA's Young Scientists Summer Program


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313