Why has the health inequality among infants in the US declined? Accounting for the shrinking gap
Given that wealthier people are healthier, the increase in income inequality over the past two decades has led to fears that inequalities in health have also increased. Indeed, some papers have found that health disparities have become more salient among some adult populations. Using the US Vital Statistics 1983-2000, this paper presents a new stylized fact: the infant health disparity, as measured by Apgar score, neonatal mortality and infant mortality, has been narrowing over the past two decades. This is in sharp contrast to the increasing disparities in health among adults of different educational backgrounds. Using a decomposition method, I find that the most important factor in explaining the closing gap is an increase in access to medical care. All else being equal, access to proper medical care is the most important factor in explaining the narrowing infant health gap. Demographic shifts and maternal behavior changes are also significant factors, together explaining 42.2% of the closing gap in low Apgar score, 41.4% of the closing gap in neonatal death, and 45.6% of the closing gap in infant death. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005.
"Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," NBER Working Papers 11627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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 1263-96, December.
- Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005.
"The Costs of Low Birth Weight,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
- Wanchuan Lin, 2006.
"Accounting for the Change in the Gradient: Health Inequality Among Infants,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
850, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Wanchuan Lin, 2006. "Accounting for the Change in the Gradient: Health Inequality Among Infants," UCLA Economics Working Papers 849, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
- Bennett, Trude, 1992. "Marital status and infant health outcomes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1179-1187, November.
- Irma Elo & Cassio Turra & Bert Kestenbaum & B. Ferguson, 2004. "Mortality among elderly hispanics in the United States: Past evidence and new results," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 109-128, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:7:p:823-841. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.