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

Author

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  • 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
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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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    Cited by:

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    2. Aline Bütikofer & René Karadakic & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2021. "Income Inequality and Mortality: A Norwegian Perspective," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(1), pages 193-221, March.
    3. Marco Alfano, 2020. "Islamic law and investments in children: evidence from the Sharia introduction in Nigeria," Working Papers 2003, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    4. Persson, Petra & Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2019. "When Dad Can Stay Home: Fathers' Workplace Flexibility and Maternal Health," IZA Discussion Papers 12386, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Wen Fan & Liying Luo, 2020. "Understanding Trends in the Concentration of Infant Mortality Among Disadvantaged White and Black Mothers in the United States, 1983–2013: A Decomposition Analysis," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(3), pages 979-1005, June.
    6. Daniel Auer & Johannes S. Kunz, 2021. "Communication Barriers and Infant Health: Intergenerational Effects of Randomly Allocating Refugees Across Language Regions," Papers 2021-05, Centre for Health Economics, Monash University.
    7. Schwandt, Hannes, 2017. "The Lasting Legacy of Seasonal Influenza: In-Utero Exposure and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10589, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Aline Bütikofer & Katrine V. Løken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2019. "Infant Health Care and Long-Term Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 341-354, May.
    9. Eric French & John Bailey Jones & Elaine Kelly & Jeremy McCauley, 2018. "End-of-Life Medical Expenses," Working Paper 18-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    10. David Rothwell & Leanne Giordono & Jennifer Robson, 2020. "Public Income Transfers and Wealth Accumulation at the Bottom: Within and Between Country Differences in Canada and the United States," LWS Working papers 31, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    11. Altindag, Onur & Greve, Jane & Tekin, Erdal, 2022. "Public Health Policy at Scale: Impact of a Government-Sponsored Information Campaign on Infant Mortality in Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 15398, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Tiffany Green & Tod Hamilton, 2019. "Maternal educational attainment and infant mortality in the United States: Does the gradient vary by race/ethnicity and nativity?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 41(25), pages 713-752.
    13. Coffey, Diane & Spears, Dean, 2019. "Neonatal Death in India: Birth Order in a Context of Maternal Undernutrition," IZA Discussion Papers 12288, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. David A. Swanson & Jack Baker, 2019. "Estimating the underlying infant mortality rates for small populations: an historical study of US counties in 1970," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 233-244, September.
    15. Spears, Dean, 2020. "Exposure to open defecation can account for the Indian enigma of child height," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    16. Kristiina Huttunen & Stefano Lombardi, 2021. "Mortality Inequality in Finland," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(1), pages 223-244, March.
    17. Butikofer, Aline & Loken, Katrine & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2018. "Infant Health Care and Long-Term," CEPR Discussion Papers 13064, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Dian Kristiani Irawaty & Indra Elfiyan & Edy Purwoko, 2021. "Exploring the Factors Associated with Infant Mortality in Rural Indonesia," Global Journal of Health Science, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 13(1), pages 1-17, January.
    19. Benjamin Sosnaud, 2022. "Reconceptualizing Measures of Black–White Disparity in Infant Mortality in U.S. Counties," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 41(4), pages 1779-1808, August.
    20. Mark E. McGovern, 2016. "Progress and the Lack of Progress in Addressing Infant Health and Infant Health Inequalities in Ireland during the 20th Century," Economics Working Papers 16-05, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast.
    21. Sievertsen, Hans Henrik & Wüst, Miriam, 2017. "Discharge on the day of birth, parental response and health and schooling outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 121-138.
    22. Banerjee, Rakesh & Maharaj, Riddhi, 2020. "Heat, infant mortality, and adaptation: Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).

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    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? (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2016) in ReplicationWiki

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