IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/labeco/v43y2016icp42-54.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Racial and ethnic infant mortality gaps and the role of socio-economic status

Author

Listed:
  • Elder, Todd E.
  • Goddeeris, John H.
  • Haider, Steven J.

Abstract

We assess the extent to which differences in socio-economic status are associated with racial and ethnic gaps in a fundamental measure of population health: the rate at which infants die. Using micro-level Vital Statistics data from 2000 to 2004, we examine mortality gaps of infants born to white, black, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Asian, and Native American mothers. We find that between-group mortality gaps are strongly and consistently (except for Mexican infants) associated with maternal marital status, education, and age, and that these same characteristics are powerful predictors of income and poverty for new mothers in U.S. Census data. Despite these similarities, we document a fundamental difference in the mortality gap for the three high mortality groups: whereas the black-white and Puerto Rican-white mortality gaps mainly occur at low birth weights, the Native American-white gap occurs almost exclusively at higher birth weights. We further examine the one group whose IMR is anomalous compared to the other groups: infants of Mexican mothers die at relatively low rates given their socio-economic disadvantage. We find that this anomaly is driven by lower infant mortality among foreign-born mothers, a pattern found within many racial/ethnic groups. Overall, we conclude that the infant mortality gaps for our six racial/ethnic groups exhibit many commonalities, and these commonalities suggest a prominent role for socio-economic differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Elder, Todd E. & Goddeeris, John H. & Haider, Steven J., 2016. "Racial and ethnic infant mortality gaps and the role of socio-economic status," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 42-54.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:43:y:2016:i:c:p:42-54
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2016.04.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537116300033
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies' Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1091-1130.
    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. Isaac Eberstein & Charles Nam & Robert Hummer, 1990. "Infant Mortality by Cause of Death: Main and Interaction Effects," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 27(3), pages 413-430, August.
    4. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    5. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew & Schmieder, Johannes F., 2009. "Air pollution and infant health: Lessons from New Jersey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 688-703, May.
    6. Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens & Mateusz Filipski, 2009. "Why Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 122-127, May.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. repec:pri:cheawb:adriana_booms.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167.
    13. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-1296, December.
    14. Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2005. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn from California's Recent Experience?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1003-1030.
    15. Hoynes, Hilary & Page, Marianne & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2011. "Can targeted transfers improve birth outcomes?: Evidence from the introduction of the WIC program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 813-827, August.
    16. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2007. "Inverse probability weighted estimation for general missing data problems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1281-1301, December.
    17. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, July.
    18. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen & Michael L. Katz, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317.
    19. Busso, Matias & DiNardo, John & McCrary, Justin, 2009. "New Evidence on the Finite Sample Properties of Propensity Score Matching and Reweighting Estimators," IZA Discussion Papers 3998, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. repec:pri:cheawb:adriana_booms is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Leonard, Jonathan & Mas, Alexandre, 2008. "Welfare reform, time limits, and infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1551-1566, December.
    22. Todd E. Elder & John H. Goddeeris & Steven J. Haider, 2015. "Isolating the Roles of Individual Covariates in Reweighting Estimation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 1169-1191, November.
    23. Janet Currie & Reed Walker, 2011. "Traffic Congestion and Infant Health: Evidence from E-ZPass," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 65-90, January.
    24. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "Biology as Destiny? Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Intergenerational Transmission of Birth Weight," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 231-264.
    26. Watson, Tara, 2006. "Public health investments and the infant mortality gap: Evidence from federal sanitation interventions on U.S. Indian reservations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1537-1560, September.
    27. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    28. Robert Hummer & Daniel Powers & Starling Pullum & Ginger Gossman & W. Frisbie, 2007. "Paradox found (again): Infant mortality among the Mexican-origin population in the united states," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(3), pages 441-457, August.
    29. Elder Todd E & Goddeeris John H & Haider Steven J, 2011. "A Deadly Disparity: A Unified Assessment of the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-44, June.
    30. Janet Currie & Michael Greenstone & Enrico Moretti, 2011. "Superfund Cleanups and Infant Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 435-441, May.
    31. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
    32. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1996:86:6:837-843_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. Elizabeth Cooksey, 1990. "Factors in the Resolution of Adolescent Premarital Pregnancies," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 27(2), pages 207-218, May.
    34. Janet Currie & Johannes F. Schmieder, 2009. "Fetal Exposures to Toxic Releases and Infant Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 177-183, May.
    35. Michael Greenstone & Kenneth Y. Chay, 2000. "The Convergence in Black-White Infant Mortality Rates during the 1960's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 326-332, May.
    36. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
    37. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2006.093708_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    38. W. Frisbie & Seung-eun Song & Daniel Powers & Julie Street, 2004. "The increasing racial disparity in infant mortality: Respiratory distress syndrome and other causes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 773-800, November.
    39. Brian Finch, 2003. "Early origins of the gradient: the relationship between socioeconomic status and infant mortality in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(4), pages 675-699, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infant mortality; Infant health; Disparities;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:43:y:2016:i:c:p:42-54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.