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A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Strategies to Reduce Infant Mortality


  • Hope Corman
  • Theodore Joyce
  • Michael Grossman


This study compares the cost-effectiveness of various health inputs and government programs in reducing race-specific neonatal mortality or death in the first twenty-seven days of life. Approximately two-thirds of all infant deaths occur within this time period. The programs and inputs at issue are teenage family planning use, the supplemental food program for women, infants and children (WIC), use of community health centers and maternal and infant care projects, abortion, prenatal care, and neonatal intensive care. Using an economic model of the family as the analytical framework, effectiveness is determined by using ordinary least squares and two-stage least squares to estimate infant health production functions across large counties in the U.S. in 1977. We find the early initiation of prenatal care to be the most cost-effective means of reducing neonatal mortality rate for blacks and whites. Moreover, blacks benefit more per dollar of input use than whites. Neonatal intensive care, although the most effective means of reducing neonatal mortality rates, is one of the least cost-effective strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hope Corman & Theodore Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1987. "A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Strategies to Reduce Infant Mortality," NBER Working Papers 2346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2346
    Note: HE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wu, De-Min, 1973. "Alternative Tests of Independence Between Stochastic Regressors and Disturbances," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 733-750, July.
    2. Theodore J. Joyce, 1985. "The Impact of Induced Abortion on Birth Outcomes in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Fred Goldman & Michael Grossman, 1982. "The Production and Cost of Ambulatory Medical Care In Community Health Centers," NBER Working Papers 0907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Corman, Hope & Grossman, Michael, 1985. "Determinants of neonatal mortality rates in the U.S. : A reduced form model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 213-236, September.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1982:72:12:1336-1344_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1985. "Birth Outcome Production Functions in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Joyce, Theodore J. & Grossman, Michael & Goldman, Fred, 1989. "An assessment of the benefits of air pollution control: The case of infant health," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 32-51, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katherine Baicker & Douglas Staiger, 2005. "Fiscal Shenanigans, Targeted Federal Health Care Funds, and Patient Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 345-386.
    2. Drummond, Michael & Stoddart, Greg, 1995. "Assessment of health producing measures across different sectors," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 219-231, September.
    3. Luis Fernando Aguado Quintero & Alexei Arbona Estrada & Ana Maria Osorio Mejia & Jaime Rodrigo Ahumada Castro & Marylin Guerrero Jimenez, 2007. "Index of Childhood Rights in Colombia. A Regional Prospect," Working Papers 2, Faculty of Economics and Management, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali.
    4. Hope Corman & Michael Grossman & Theodore J. Joyce, 1988. "Demographic Analysis of Birthweight-Specific Neonatal Mortality," NBER Working Papers 2804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Luis Eduardo Giron Cruz & Ana Maria Osorio Mejia & Luis Miguel Tovar Cuevas & Jaime Rodrigo Ahumada Castro & Luis Fernando Aguado Quintero, 2006. "Determining Factors of the Use of Maternal Health Services in the Colombian Pacific Coast," Working Papers 1, Faculty of Economics and Management, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali.

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