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Saving Lives at Birth: The Impact of Home Births on Infant Outcomes

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Author Info

  • Daysal, N. Meltem

    ()
    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Trandafir, Mircea

    ()
    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • van Ewijk, Reyn

    ()
    (University of Mainz)

Abstract

Many developed countries have recently experienced sharp increases in home birth rates. This paper investigates the impact of home births on the health of low-risk newborns using data from the Netherlands, the only developed country where home births are widespread. To account for endogeneity in location of birth, we exploit the exogenous variation in distance from a mother's residence to the closest hospital. We find that giving birth in a hospital leads to substantial reductions in newborn mortality. We provide suggestive evidence that proximity to medical technologies may be an important channel contributing to these health gains.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6879.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6879

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Keywords: home birth; birth; medical technology; mortality;

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References

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  1. David M. Cutler, 2007. "The Lifetime Costs and Benefits of Medical Technology," NBER Working Papers 13478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Douglas Almond & Joseph J. Doyle, Jr. & Amanda E. Kowalski & Heidi Williams, 2010. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Medical Care: Evidence from At-Risk Newborns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 591-634, May.
  3. Daysal, N. Meltem & Trandafir, Mircea & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2013. "Returns to Childbirth Technologies: Evidence from Preterm Births," IZA Discussion Papers 7834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Wiegers, T. A. & van der Zee, J. & Kerssens, J. J. & Keirse, M. J. N. C., 1998. "Home birth or short-stay hospital birth in a low risk population in the Netherlands," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(11), pages 1505-1511, January.
  5. Miller Amalia R, 2006. "The Impact of Midwifery-Promoting Public Policies on Medical Interventions and Health Outcomes," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-36, October.
  6. Bharadwaj, Prashant & Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Neilson, Christopher, 2012. "Early Life Health Interventions and Academic Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 6864, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Douglas Almond & Joseph J. Doyle, 2011. "After Midnight: A Regression Discontinuity Design in Length of Postpartum Hospital Stays," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 1-34, August.
  8. David M. Cutler & Ellen Meara, 1997. "The Medical Costs of The Young and Old: A Forty Year Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Joseph P. Newhouse, 1992. "Medical Care Costs: How Much Welfare Loss?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 3-21, Summer.
  10. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
  11. McClellan, Mark & Newhouse, Joseph P., 1997. "The marginal cost-effectiveness of medical technology: A panel instrumental-variables approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 39-64, March.
  12. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding Differences in Health Behaviors by Education," Scholarly Articles 5344195, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Daysal, N. Meltem & Trandafir, Mircea & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2013. "Returns to Childbirth Technologies: Evidence from Preterm Births," IZA Discussion Papers 7834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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