Public health, poor relief and improving urban child mortality outcomes in the decade prior to the New Deal
AbstractThis paper examines the effectiveness of the public health education and poverty relief programs prior to the New Deal. Prior researchers have speculated these programs contributed to the declining mortality rates during the 1920s, but have been unable to econometrically estimate their impact across a large set of cities. Data on municipal health education and social insurance expenditures is used to separately estimate how effective each of these programs were at reducing infant and child mortality. The effects are identified using the within variation for a panel of 68 cities over 10 years, with estimates suggesting that it was primarily spending on health education which led to lower infant and child mortality during the 1920s. Additionally, for both the infant and child age groups, the education programs required a two-year lag to generate an effect. Fixed effects estimates indicate that 1 dollar of per capita public health education spending in year t translated to about a 0.93 unit drop in the infant mortality rate in year t+2, and about a .02 unit drop in the crude death rate for children aged 1 to 4. In terms of actual municipal expenditures during this period, these estimates show that cities in the top quartile of public health education spending experienced an additional 2.4 unit average annual decline in their infant mortality rates than did cites in the bottom percentile. JEL codes I18, I38, and N32
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2011-005.
Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/
USA; child mortality; health education; infant mortality; public health; social welfare;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-02-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2011-02-26 (Health Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2011-02-26 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2004.
"Changes in the Value of Life, 1940--1980,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 159-180, 09.
- Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117, 02.
- Waldmann, Robert J, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-302, November.
- Stoian, Adrian & Fishback, Price, 2010.
"Welfare spending and mortality rates for the elderly before the Social Security era,"
Explorations in Economic History,
Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, January.
- Adrian Stoian & Price V. Fishback, 2009. "Welfare Spending and Mortality Rates for the Elderly Before the Social Security Era," NBER Working Papers 14970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Samuel H. Preston & Michael R. Haines, 1991. "Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pres91-1, October.
- Hoyt Bleakley & Fabian Lange, 2009. "Chronic Disease Burden and the Interaction of Education, Fertility, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 52-65, February.
- Price V. Fishback & Valentina Kachanovskaya, 2010. "In Search of the Multiplier for Federal Spending in the States During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 16561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Moehling, Carolyn M. & Thomasson, Melissa A., 2012. "The Political Economy of Saving Mothers and Babies: The Politics of State Participation in the Sheppard-Towner Program," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 75-103, March.
- Alan Barreca & Price V. Fishback & Shawn Kantor, 2011. "Agricultural Policy, Migration, and Malaria in the 1930s United States," NBER Working Papers 17526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Wilhelm).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.