Why is Infant Mortality Higher in the US than in Europe?
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.
- The U.S. infant mortality rate (IMR) compares unfavorably to that of other developed countries, ranking 51st in the world in...
Chen, Alice, Emily Oster, and Heidi Williams. 2016. "Why Is Infant Mortality Higher in the United States Than in Europe?" American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 8 (2): 89-124.