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Saving Lives at Birth: The Impact of Home Births on Infant Outcomes

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  • N. Meltem Daysal

    (Tilburg University and IZA)

  • Mircea Trandafir

    (Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Reyn van Ewijk

    (University Medical Centre Mainz and University of Mainz)

Abstract

Many developed countries have recently experienced sharp increases in home birth rates. This paper investigates the impact of home births on the health of low-risk newborns using data from the Netherlands, the only developed country where home births are widespread. To account for endogeneity in location of birth, we exploit the exogenous variation in distance from a mother's residence to the closest hospital. We find that giving birth in a hospital leads to substantial reductions in newborn mortality. We provide suggestive evidence that proximity to medical technologies may be an important channel contributing to these health gains.

Suggested Citation

  • N. Meltem Daysal & Mircea Trandafir & Reyn van Ewijk, 2012. "Saving Lives at Birth: The Impact of Home Births on Infant Outcomes," Cahiers de recherche 12-11, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
  • Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:12-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daysal, N. Meltem & Trandafir, Mircea & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2016. "Heterogeneous Effects of Medical Interventions on the Health of Low-Risk Newborns," IZA Discussion Papers 9810, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2018. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1360-1446, December.
    3. Kronborg, Hanne & Sievertsen, Hans Henrik & Wüst, Miriam, 2016. "Care around birth, infant and mother health and maternal health investments – Evidence from a nurse strike," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 201-211.
    4. Breining, Sanni & Daysal, N. Meltem & Simonsen, Marianne & Trandafir, Mircea, 2015. "Spillover Effects of Early-Life Medical Interventions," IZA Discussion Papers 9086, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. David Mmopelwa, 2019. "Prenatal care utilization and infant health in Botswana," Discussion Papers 2019-09, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    6. Lazuka, Volha, 2019. "It’s a long walk: Lasting effects of maternity ward openings on labour market performance," Lund Papers in Economic History 187, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    7. Paola Bertoli & Veronica Grembi, 2017. "The life‐saving effect of hospital proximity," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(S2), pages 78-91, September.
    8. Okeke, Edward N. & Abubakar, Isa S., 2020. "Healthcare at the beginning of life and child survival: Evidence from a cash transfer experiment in Nigeria," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    9. Edward N. Okeke, 2021. "Money and my mind: Maternal cash transfers and mental health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(11), pages 2879-2904, November.
    10. Maibom, Jonas & Sievertsen, Hans H. & Simonsen, Marianne & Wüst, Miriam, 2021. "Maternity ward crowding, procedure use, and child health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    11. Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2018. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(1), pages 6-47, July.
    12. Pulleyblank, Ryan & Laudicella, Mauro & Olsen, Kim Rose, 2021. "Cost and quality impacts of treatment setting for type 2 diabetes patients with moderate disease severity: Hospital- vs. GP-based monitoring," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 125(6), pages 760-767.
    13. Daysal, N. Meltem & Trandafir, Mircea & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2013. "Returns to Childbirth Technologies: Evidence from Preterm Births," IZA Discussion Papers 7834, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Daysal, N. Meltem & Trandafir, Mircea & van Ewijk, Reyn, 2019. "Low-risk isn’t no-risk: Perinatal treatments and the health of low-income newborns," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 55-67.
    15. Wyeth Pullyblank, Ryan & Laudicella, Mauro & Rose Olsen, Kim, 2020. "Cost and quality impacts of treatment loci for type 2 diabetes patients with moderate disease severity: Hospital- vs. GP-basedmonitoring," DaCHE discussion papers 2020:1, University of Southern Denmark, Dache - Danish Centre for Health Economics.
    16. N. Meltem Daysal, 2015. "Early-life medical care and human capital accumulation," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 218-218, December.
    17. Kumar, Rahul & Maity, Bipasha, 2021. "Cultural Norms and Women's Health: Implications of the Practice of Menstrual Restrictions in Nepal," GLO Discussion Paper Series 907, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    18. Okeke, Edward N. & Chari, A.V., 2018. "Health care at birth and infant mortality: Evidence from nighttime deliveries in Nigeria," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 196(C), pages 86-95.
    19. Grépin, Karen A. & Habyarimana, James & Jack, William, 2019. "Cash on delivery: Results of a randomized experiment to promote maternal health care in Kenya," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 15-30.
    20. David B. Audretsch, 2015. "Knowledge spillovers and future jobs," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 218-218, December.
    21. Sievertsen, Hans Henrik & Wüst, Miriam, 2017. "Discharge on the day of birth, parental response and health and schooling outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 121-138.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Medical technology; birth; home birth; mortality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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