Determinants of neonatal mortality rates in the U.S. A reduced form model

J Health Econ. 1985 Sep;4(3):213-36. doi: 10.1016/0167-6296(85)90030-x.


The aim of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of the determinants of differences in race-specific neonatal mortality rates among large counties of the U.S. in 1977. After estimating cross-sectional regressions, we apply their coefficients to national trends in the exogenous variables to 'explain' the rapid decline in neonatal mortality since 1964. The regressions and the extrapolations point to the importance of abortion availability, neonatal intensive care availability, females' schooling levels, Medicaid, and to a lesser extent Bureau of Community Health Services projects, poverty, maternal nutrition programs and organized family planning in trends in black neonatal mortality between 1964 and 1977. They also underscore the importance of schooling, neonatal intensive care, poverty, Medicaid, maternal nutrition programs, abortion, and organized family planning clinics in trends in white neonatal mortality in those years.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American
  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / supply & distribution
  • Medicaid / supply & distribution
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Regression Analysis
  • United States
  • White People