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The in-hospital mortality rates of slaves and freemen: Evidence from Touro Infirmary, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1855-1860

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  • Pritchett, Jonathan
  • Yun, Myeong-Su

Abstract

Using a rich sample of admission records from New Orleans Touro Infirmary, we examine the in-hospital mortality risk of free and enslaved patients. Despite a higher mortality rate in the general population, slaves were significantly less likely to die in the hospital than the whites. We analyze the determinants of in-hospital mortality at Touro using Oaxaca-type decomposition to aggregate our regression results. After controlling for differences in characteristics and maladies, we find that much of the mortality gap remains unexplained. In conclusion, we propose an alternative explanation for the mortality gap based on the selective hospital admission of slaves.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 46 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 241-252

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:46:y:2009:i:2:p:241-252

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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Keywords: Slavery Mortality Hospital Oaxaca-type decomposition New Orleans;

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  1. Ham, John C & Svejnar, Jan & Terrell, Katherine, 1998. "Unemployment and the Social Safety Net during Transitions to a Market Economy: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1117-42, December.
  2. Tunali, Insan & Pritchett, Jonathan B, 1997. "Cox Regression with Alternative Concepts of Waiting Time: The New Orleans Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1853," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, Jan.-Feb..
  3. Abowd, John M & Killingsworth, Mark R, 1984. "Do Minority-White Unemployment Differences Really Exist?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(1), pages 64-72, January.
  4. Myeong-Su Yun, 2005. "A Simple Solution to the Identification Problem in Detailed Wage Decompositions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 766-772, October.
  5. Ronald L. Oaxaca & Michael R. Ransom, 1999. "Identification in Detailed Wage Decompositions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 154-157, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Green, Tiffany L. & Hamilton, Tod G., 2013. "Beyond black and white: Color and mortality in post-reconstruction era North Carolina," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 148-159.

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