NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why is Infant Mortality Higher in the US than in Europe?

Alice Chen, Emily Oster, Heidi Williams

NBER Working Paper No. 20525
Issued in September 2014
NBER Program(s):   AG   CH   HC   HE   PE

The US has higher infant mortality than peer countries. In this paper, we combine micro-data from the US with similar data from four European countries to investigate this US infant mortality disadvantage. The US disadvantage persists after adjusting for potential differential reporting of births near the threshold of viability. While the importance of birth weight varies across comparison countries, relative to all comparison countries the US has similar neonatal (<1 month) mortality but higher postneonatal (1-12 months) mortality. We document similar patterns across Census divisions within the US. The postneonatal mortality disadvantage is driven by poor birth outcomes among lower socioeconomic status individuals.

download in pdf format
   (469 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the 2015 number 1 issue of the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health. You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper was revised on August 26, 2015

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20525

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Gruber, Levine, and Staiger w6034 Abortion Legalization and Child Living Circumstances: Who is the "Marginal Child?"
Bailey and Goodman-Bacon w20653 The War on Poverty's Experiment in Public Medicine: Community Health Centers and the Mortality of Older Americans
Coibion, Gorodnichenko, and Wieland w16093 The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models
Berridge What the Present Statistics of Employment Show
Margolis, Hockenberry, Grossman, and Chou w20373 Moral Hazard and Less Invasive Medical Treatment for Coronary Artery Disease: The Case of Cigarette Smoking
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us