From Home to Hospital: The Evolution of Childbirth in the United States, 1927-1940
AbstractThis paper examines the shift in childbirth from home to hospital that occurred in the United States in the early twentieth century. Using a panel of city-level data over the period 1927-1940, we examine the shift of childbirth from home to hospital and analyze the impact of medical care on maternal mortality. Results suggest that increased operative intervention on the part of physicians and a resultant greater risk of infection increased maternal mortality prior to the introduction of sulfa drugs in 1937. However, the introduction of sulfa enabled doctors to reduce maternal mortality by enabling them to do potentially life-saving procedures (such as cesareans) without the risk of subsequent infection. Regressions estimated separately by race suggest that the impact of medical care on maternal mortality differed for blacks and whites. Relative to whites, hospitals posed a greater risk for black mothers prior to the availability of sulfa drugs in 1937, and were less beneficial for them afterwards, suggesting that blacks may have received lower quality medical care.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10873.
Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Note: HE DAE
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-11-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2004-11-22 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2004-11-22 (Health Economics)
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- Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2009. "Gender Roles and Medical Progress," NBER Working Papers 14873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
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