Public health, poor relief and improving urban child mortality outcomes in the decade prior to the New Deal
This paper examines the effectiveness of the public health education and poverty relief programs prior to the New Deal. Prior researchers have speculated these programs contributed to the declining mortality rates during the 1920s, but have been unable to econometrically estimate their impact across a large set of cities. Data on municipal health education and social insurance expenditures is used to separately estimate how effective each of these programs were at reducing infant and child mortality. The effects are identified using the within variation for a panel of 68 cities over 10 years, with estimates suggesting that it was primarily spending on health education which led to lower infant and child mortality during the 1920s. Additionally, for both the infant and child age groups, the education programs required a two-year lag to generate an effect. Fixed effects estimates indicate that 1 dollar of per capita public health education spending in year t translated to about a 0.93 unit drop in the infant mortality rate in year t+2, and about a .02 unit drop in the crude death rate for children aged 1 to 4. In terms of actual municipal expenditures during this period, these estimates show that cities in the top quartile of public health education spending experienced an additional 2.4 unit average annual decline in their infant mortality rates than did cites in the bottom percentile. JEL codes I18, I38, and N32
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2004.
"Changes in the Value of Life, 1940--1980,"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty,
Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 159-180, 09.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2002. "Changes in the Value of Life: 1940-1980," NBER Working Papers 9396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Samuel H. Preston & Michael R. Haines, 1991. "Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pres91-1, October.
- Hoyt Bleakley & Fabian Lange, 2009. "Chronic Disease Burden and the Interaction of Education, Fertility, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 52-65, February.
- Price V. Fishback & Valentina Kachanovskaya, 2010. "In Search of the Multiplier for Federal Spending in the States During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 16561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Moehling, Carolyn M. & Thomasson, Melissa A., 2012. "The Political Economy of Saving Mothers and Babies: The Politics of State Participation in the Sheppard-Towner Program," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(01), pages 75-103, March.
- Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1105-1166, December.
- Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stoian, Adrian & Fishback, Price, 2010. "Welfare spending and mortality rates for the elderly before the Social Security era," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-27, January.
- Adrian Stoian & Price V. Fishback, 2009. "Welfare Spending and Mortality Rates for the Elderly Before the Social Security Era," NBER Working Papers 14970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Waldmann, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-1302.
- Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2011-005. 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: (Peter Wilhelm)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.