Social and Economic Determinants of Maternal Morbidity in the United States
Research shows that low-socioeconomic status (SES) and minority women have worse maternal health outcomes than higher-SES, white women in the United States. Researchers hypothesize that social determinants of health (SDOH) such as food insecurity, discrimination, and pollution may affect these maternal health disparities. Among the various SDOH, however, there is little information about the link between affordable housing availability and health outcomes of low-SES women. This proposal explores whether affordable housing made available through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program improves the maternal health of low-SES women. I link data on new LIHTC affordable housing units in Florida to birth and death certificates for women born into low-income Census tracts between 1975-1985. Then I locate these women when they first give birth, and I measure their health and socioeconomic outcomes at that time. The hypothesis is that low-income women born into Census tracts with more affordable housing units per capita have better maternal health outcomes than low-income women born into tracts with fewer affordable housing units. One potential mechanism that I explore is that place-based affordable housing, like LIHTC, fosters economic development in low-income neighborhoods, which in turn provides economic opportunities for low-SES women and their families.
Supported by the National Institutes of Health grant #R03HD100709-02S1
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