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Urban laboring poor against Infant Mortality at Osaka city of the early 20th century : Who saved babies?


  • Emiko Higami

    () (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

  • Kenichi Tomobe

    () (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

  • Makoto Hanashima

    () (Institute of areal Studies, Foundation)


The average infant mortality rate (IMR) was 155.4 in rural areas in Japan, and IMR in Osaka city was 231.6 during 1906 to 1910. The outstanding level of IMR in Osaka city might have been influenced by somewhat negative urban factors, which we can call the gurban penalty. h Dr. Hiroshi Maruyama discovered the ƒ¿-index in 1938. The ƒ¿-index represents infant mortality number divided by neonatal mortality number. After all, Maruyama set one month after birth as a boundary to divide endogenous and exogenous. The ƒ¿-index shows a qualitative measure of infant mortality. Post neonatal mortality was increased due to acquired diseases such as diarrhea, pneumonia and beriberi. This shows that the effect of the urban penalty was raising the ƒ¿-index. The ƒ¿-index of the industrial zones shows that bad maternal conditions affected endogenous factors. Most mothers suffered from a deficiency of breast-feeding capability. The first reason was anemia. The second reason was mothers f ignorance about breast-feeding. The third reason was mother fs illnesses. They had to rely on bottle-feeding without any knowledge to handle artificial milk. Those babies often died from diarrhea or pneumonia.

Suggested Citation

  • Emiko Higami & Kenichi Tomobe & Makoto Hanashima, 2013. "Urban laboring poor against Infant Mortality at Osaka city of the early 20th century : Who saved babies?," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-30, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  • Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1330

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    More about this item


    Infant Mortality Rate (IMR); Breast-feeding; ƒ¿-index; diarrhea; visiting nurses;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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