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The Economics of Reproduction-Related Health Care


  • Victor R. Fuchs
  • Leslie Perreault


This paper presents the first systematic estimates of the direct money costs of reproduction-related health services. In 1982 Americans spent approximately $17.7 billion for contraception, abortion, treatment of infertility, obstetrical care, and infant care. This represented 5.5 percent of total health care spending and was equal to $327 per woman of reproductive age (15?44). Obstetrical care accounted for almost half of the reproduction-related expenditures and infant care accounted for morethan one-third. The paper discusses the demographic, technologic, economic,and sociopolitical factors that determine these expenditures. It also considers related public policy issues regarding legal status, sources of funding, and allocation of resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor R. Fuchs & Leslie Perreault, 1985. "The Economics of Reproduction-Related Health Care," NBER Working Papers 1688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1688
    Note: HE

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    1. Michael Grossman & Steven Jacobowitz, 1981. "Variations in infant mortality rates among counties of the United States: The roles of public policies and programs," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(4), pages 695-713, November.
    2. Michael Grossman & Steven Jacobowitz, 1981. "Variations in Infant Mortality Rates among Counties in the United States: The Roles of Social Policies and Programs," NBER Working Papers 0615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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