The Demand for Health Inputs and Their Impact on the Black Neonatal Mortality Rate in the U.S
25 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2004 Last revised: 15 Sep 2008
Date Written: June 1986
Relatively high birth rates among black adolescents andunmarried women as well as inadequate access to medical care areconsidered primary reasons why the black neonatal mortality rateis almost double that of whites. Using household productiontheory, this paper examines the determinants of input utilizationand estimates the impact of utilization on the survival of blackinfants across large counties in the U.S. in 1977. The resultsindicate that expanding the availability of family planningclinics increases the number of teenagers served resulting in alower neonatal mortality rate. Accessibility to abortion servicesoperates in a similar manner. Moreover, the use of neonatalintensive care, which is strongly related to its availability, isan important determinant of newborn survivability whereas theinitiation of early prenatal care is not. Overall, the resultssuggest that lowering the incidence of low weight and pretermbirths among blacks by helping women to avoid an unwanted birth,may be the moat cost-effective way of improving black infanthealth.
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