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

23 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2001 Last revised: 8 Sep 2010

See all articles by Michael Grossman

Michael Grossman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NY Office; CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics

Steven Jacobowitz

Montclair State University

Date Written: 1981

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Grossman, Michael and Jacobowitz, Steven, Variations in Infant Mortality Rates Among Counties in the United States: The Roles of Social Policies and Programs (1981). NBER Working Paper No. w0615. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=239053

Michael Grossman (Contact Author)

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Steven Jacobowitz

Montclair State University

Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
United States

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