The Impact of Midwifery-Promoting Public Policies on Medical Interventions and Health Outcomes
This paper measures the impact of midwifery-promoting public policies on maternity care in the United States, using national Vital Statistics data on births spanning 1989-1999. State laws mandating insurance coverage of midwifery services are associated with an 18-percentage rise in midwife-attended births. The laws did not decrease rates of cesarean deliveries or lead to consistent effects on maternal mortality or Apgar scores. They did, however, lead to a statistically significant drop in neonatal deaths. Divergence between OLS and natural experiment estimates suggests that women are selecting into provider groups based on unobserved preferences and health.
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Volume (Year): 6 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
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