Public Health Efforts and the Decline in Urban Mortality

100 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018

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

Daniel I. Rees

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

Abstract

Using data on 25 major American cities for the period 1900-1940, we explore the effects of municipal-level public health efforts that were viewed as critical in the fight against food- and water-borne diseases. In addition to studying interventions such as treating sewage and setting strict bacteriological standards for milk, which have received little attention in the literature, we provide new evidence on the effects of water filtration and chlorination, extending the work of previous scholars. Contrary to the consensus view, we find that none of the interventions under study contributed substantially to the observed declines in total and infant mortality.

Keywords: public health, mortality, chlorination, filtration, pasteurization, sewage

JEL Classification: I15, I18

Suggested Citation

Anderson, D. Mark and Charles, Kerwin Kofi and Rees, Daniel I., Public Health Efforts and the Decline in Urban Mortality. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11773, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3249887

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)

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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