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

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Author Info

  • N. Meltem Daysal

    ()
    (Tilburg University and IZA)

  • Mircea Trandafir

    ()
    (Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Reyn van Ewijk

    ()
    (University Medical Centre Mainz and 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 Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 12-11.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:12-11

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Keywords: Medical technology; birth; home birth; mortality;

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References

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  1. 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, vol. 46(11), pages 1505-1511, January.
  2. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding Differences in Health Behaviors by Education," Scholarly Articles 5344195, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, vol. 3(3), pages 1-34, August.
  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. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Cutler, David M., 2007. "The lifetime costs and benefits of medical technology," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1081-1100, December.
  10. McClellan, Mark & Newhouse, Joseph P., 1997. "The marginal cost-effectiveness of medical technology: A panel instrumental-variables approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 39-64, March.
  11. 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, vol. 125(2), pages 591-634, May.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
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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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