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Variations in Infant Mortality Rates among Counties in the United States: The Roles of Social Policies and Programs

  • Michael Grossman
  • Steven Jacobowitz

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the causes of the rapid decline in the infant mortality rate in the United States in the period after 1963. The roles of four public policies are considered: Medicaid, subsidized family planning services for low-income women, maternal and infant care projects, and the legalization of abortion. The most striking finding is that the increase in the legal abortion rate is the single most important factor in reductions in both white and nonwhite neonatal mortality rates. Not only does the growth in abortion dominate the other public policies, but it also dominates schooling and poverty.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0615.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0615.

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Date of creation: Jan 1981
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Publication status: published as Grossman Michael and Jacobowitz, Steven. "Variations in Infant Mortality Rates among Counties of the United States: The Roles of Public Policies and Programs." Demography, Vol. 18, No. 4, (November 1981), pp. 695-713.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0615
Note: HE
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  1. Ben-Porath, Yoram & Welch, Finis, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307, May.
  2. Karen Davis & Roger Reynolds, 1976. "The Impact of Medicare and Medicaid on Access to Medical Care," NBER Chapters, in: The Role of Health Insurance in the Health Services Sector, pages 391-436 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
  4. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
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