Public Health Policy At Scale: Impact of a Government-sponsored Information Campaign on Infant Mortality in Denmark
We evaluate the impact of a nationwide public health intervention on deaths from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), using population data from Denmark in a regression discontinuity research design. The information campaign–implemented primarily through a universal nurse home visiting program–reduced infant mortality by 17.6 percent and saved between 11.5-14.5 lives over 10,000 births. The estimated effect sizes are 11-14 times larger among low birthweight and preterm infants relative to the overall population. Improvement in infant mortality is concentrated among those with lower socio-economic status and with limited access to health information, thereby reducing health inequities at birth in Denmark.
We gratefully acknowledge financial support from Novo Nordisk Foundation (Grant: NNF180C0034296). We thank Dhaval Dave, Daniel Dench, Else Guldager, Theodore Joyce, Stephen D. O’Connell, Daniel Rees, Hannes Schwandt, Kiersten Strombotne, and seminar participants at Bentley University for comments and suggestions. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.