The Federal Effort to Desegregate Southern Hospitals and the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap

90 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2020 Last revised: 2 Aug 2021

See all articles by D. Mark Anderson

D. Mark Anderson

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics

Kerwin Kofi Charles

Yale School of Management

Daniel I. Rees

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

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Date Written: October 2020

Abstract

In 1966, Southern hospitals were barred from participating in Medicare unless they discontinued their long-standing practice of racial segregation. Using data from five Deep South states and exploiting county-level variation in Medicare certification dates, we find that gaining access to an ostensibly integrated hospital had no effect on the Black-White infant mortality gap. Similarly, there is little evidence that the federal hospital desegregation campaign contributed to the trend towards in-hospital births among Southern Black mothers. These results are consistent with descriptions of the campaign as producing only cosmetic changes and illustrate the limits of anti-discrimination policies imposed upon reluctant actors.

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Suggested Citation

Anderson, D. Mark and Charles, Kerwin Kofi and Rees, Daniel I., The Federal Effort to Desegregate Southern Hospitals and the Black-White Infant Mortality Gap (October 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27970, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3714462

D. Mark Anderson (Contact Author)

Montana State University - Bozeman - Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics ( email )

Bozeman, MT 59717-2920
United States

Kerwin Kofi Charles

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

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)

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