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Why Is Infant Mortality Higher in the United States Than in Europe?

Author

Listed:
  • Alice Chen
  • Emily Oster
  • Heidi Williams

Abstract

The United States has higher infant mortality than peer countries. In this paper, we combine microdata from the United States with similar data from four European countries to investigate this US infant mortality disadvantage. The US disadvantage persists after adjusting for potential differential reporting of births near the threshold of viability. While the importance of birth weight varies across comparison countries, relative to all comparison countries the United States has similar neonatal (

Suggested Citation

  • Alice Chen & Emily Oster & Heidi Williams, 2016. "Why Is Infant Mortality Higher in the United States Than in Europe?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 89-124, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:8:y:2016:i:2:p:89-124
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20140224
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ford, Graeme & Ecob, Russell & Hunt, Kate & Macintyre, Sally & West, Patrick, 1994. "Patterns of class inequality in health through the lifespan: Class gradients at 15, 35 and 55 years in the west of Scotland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1037-1050, October.
    2. Douglas Almond & Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2011. "Inside the War on Poverty: The Impact of Food Stamps on Birth Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 387-403, May.
    3. Robert J. Waldmann, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-1302.
    4. Hilary Hoynes & Doug Miller & David Simon, 2015. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 172-211, February.
    5. Case, Anne & Lee, Diana & Paxson, Christina, 2008. "The income gradient in children's health: A comment on Currie, Shields and Wheatley Price," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 801-807, May.
    6. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    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. Douglas Almond & Joseph J. Doyle & Amanda E. Kowalski & Heidi Williams, 2010. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Medical Care: Evidence from At-risk Newborns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 591-634.
    9. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 2007. "The child health/family income gradient: Evidence from England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 213-232, March.
    11. Currie, Janet & Cole, Nancy, 1993. "Welfare and Child Health: The Link between AFDC Participation and Birth Weight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 971-985, September.
    12. Reagan, Patricia B. & Salsberry, Pamela J. & Olsen, Randall J., 2007. "Does the measure of economic disadvantage matter? Exploring the effect of individual and relative deprivation on intrauterine growth restriction," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(10), pages 2016-2029, May.
    13. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    14. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    15. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Mark W. Frank, 2009. "Inequality And Growth In The United States: Evidence From A New State-Level Panel Of Income Inequality Measures," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(1), pages 55-68, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Sam Watson’s journal round-up for 23rd May 2016
      by Sam Watson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2016-05-23 16:00:04

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    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:121-138 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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    1. Why Is Infant Mortality Higher in the United States than in Europe? (AEJ:EP 2016) in ReplicationWiki

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