Date: December 2008
Creator: Jesmin, Syeda Sarah
Description: The objective of this study was to examine if intra-racial income inequality contributes to higher infant mortality rates (IMRs) for African-Americans. The conceptual framework for this study is derived from Richard Wilkinson's psychosocial environment interpretation of the income inequality and health link. The hypotheses examined were that race/ethnicity-specific IMRs are influenced by intra-race/ethnicity income inequality, and that these effects of income inequality on health are mediated by level of social mistrust and/or risk profile of the mother. Using state-level data from several sources, the 2000 National Center for Health Statistics Linked Birth Infant Death database, 2000 U.S. Census, and 2000 General Social Survey, a number of regression equations were estimated. Results indicated that the level of intra-racial/ethnic income inequality is a significant predictor of non-Hispanic Black IMRs, but not the IMRs of non-Hispanic Whites or Hispanics. Additionally, among Blacks, the effect of their intra-racial income inequality on their IMRs was found to be mediated by the risk profile of the mother, namely, the increased likelihood of smoking and/or drinking and/or less prenatal care by Black women during pregnancy. Implications of the findings are discussed.
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