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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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Author Info

  • Pritchett, Jonathan B.

    ()
    (Tulane University)

  • Yun, Myeong-Su

    ()
    (Tulane University)

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

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3652.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Explorations in Economic History, 2009, 46 (2), 241-252
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3652

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Keywords: New Orleans; Touro; slavery; Oaxaca-type decomposition; hospital;

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References

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  1. John Ham & Jan Svejnar & Katherine Terrell, 1998. "Unemployment and the Social Safety Net During Transitions to a Market Economy: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 169, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. 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.
  3. Abowd, John M & Killingsworth, Mark R, 1984. "Do Minority-White Unemployment Differences Really Exist?," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, 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, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 766-772, October.
  5. 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., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, Jan.-Feb..
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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, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 148-159.

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