Was the First Public Health Campaign Successful? The Tuberculosis Movement and its Effect on Mortality

69 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2017

See all articles by D. Mark Anderson

D. Mark Anderson

University of Washington - Economics

Kerwin Kofi Charles

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Claudio Las Heras Olivares

Central Bank of Chile

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

The U.S. tuberculosis movement pioneered many of the strategies of modern public health campaigns. Dedicated to eradicating a specific disease, it was spearheaded by voluntary associations and supported by the sale of Christmas seals. Although remarkable in its scope and intensity, the effectiveness of the tuberculosis (TB) movement has not been studied in a systematic fashion. Using newly digitized mortality data at the municipal level for the period 1900-1917, we explore the effectiveness of the measures championed by the TB movement. Our results suggest that the adoption of a municipal reporting requirement was associated with a 6 percent decrease in pulmonary TB mortality, while the opening of a state-run sanatorium was associated with an almost 4 percent decrease in pulmonary TB mortality. However, these and other anti-TB measures can explain, at most, only a small portion of the overall decline in pulmonary TB mortality observed during the period under study.

Keywords: tuberculosis, public health campaign, mortality

JEL Classification: H75, I18, N30

Suggested Citation

Anderson, D. Mark and Charles, Kerwin Kofi and Las Heras Olivares, Claudio and Rees, Daniel I., Was the First Public Health Campaign Successful? The Tuberculosis Movement and its Effect on Mortality. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10590, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2931287

D. Mark Anderson (Contact Author)

University of Washington - Economics ( email )

Seattle, WA
United States

Kerwin Kofi Charles

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
(773) 834-8922 (Phone)

Claudio Las Heras Olivares

Central Bank of Chile ( email )

Publicaciones
Huerfanos 1185
Santiago
Chile

Daniel I. Rees

University of Colorado Denver ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80218
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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