Race/Ethnicity Health Inequality in the United States

Paper Session

Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 10:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Hyatt Regency Chicago, Wright
Hosted By: National Economic Association
  • Chair: Alberto Ortega, University of Florida

Understanding How Socioeconomic Status Is Correlated With Health Disparities Among Children In Mississippi

Okechukwu D. Anyamele
Jackson State University
Sarah Buxbaum
Jackson State University


Here we examine the relationship between household income and child health in the state of Mississippi using National Survey of Children Health (NSCH) data drawn from the 2007 survey. We examine the role of education, income, employment, and health insurance on child health among different age groups, race/ethnicity, and gender. We employ both bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis for this study. The bivariate model looks at the relationship between general child’s health status and family income. The second model, the multivariate regression examines the effects of education, income, employment, health insurance, and neighborhood variables that relate to children’s general health status on child health among different ages, race/ethnicity, and gender. Using this method will allow us to estimate the level of differences in health outcomes among the various race/ethnic groups based on their socioeconomic status. We have an a priori expectation that a child’s health status and<br />
household income, educational status, and employment will be positively correlated. However, we have no a priori expectation of what the correlation will be with neighborhood variables, race/ethnicity,<br />
and gender.

Immigrant Fertility in the Midst of Intensified Enforcement

Esther Arenas Arroyo
Queen Mary University of London
Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes
San Diego State University


Immigration enforcement is amongst the most divisive topics in this election year, especially after the implementation of local and state initiatives contributing to 1.8 million deportations during President Obama’s Administration alone. Simultaneously, immigrant fertility rates have been declining worrisomely among foreign-born Hispanics, particularly Mexicans –a demographic encompassing most unauthorized migrants.1
We explore these recent trends in immigration enforcement and fertility to learn about the role of intensified enforcement on immigrant fertility patterns. We focus on the unauthorized, who exhibit higher birth rates.2 Stepped-up enforcement could curtail their childbearing via: (1) enhanced employment difficulties and subsequent reductions in household income,3 (2) increased anxiety, stress, and limited access to prenatal care services,4and/or (3) deportation of a partner. Nevertheless, because of the advantages of having a U.S. citizenship, stepped-up enforcement could motivate unauthorized immigrants to have their children in the United States.
Using a quasi-experimental approach, we exploit the temporal and geographic variation in the implementation of local and state immigration enforcement measures to identify their impact on unauthorized immigrants’ fertility. We rely on data from the 2005 through 2014 American Community Survey, to which we merge information on the adoption of 287(g) agreements, Secure Communities, omnibus immigration laws and employment verification mandates. Preliminary findings reveal that intensified enforcement curtails the childbearing likelihood of likely unauthorized women.5 Given immigrants’ critical contribution to the sustainability of the welfare state, as well as the spread-out embracement of a piece-meal

The Relationship between Fertility and Development: Evidence from North Africa

Mina Baliamoune-Lutz
University of North Florida


I discuss major issues and developments related to gender economics in four North African countries, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. I analyze historical trajectories of widely used gender inequality indicators in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, and focus in particular on the behavior of fertility. Analysis of historical data shows that the long-term behavior of fertility in Tunisia was significantly different from that in the Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco, and that the divergence was primarily due to major differences in the governments’ approaches to population policy and family planning. However, all four countries exhibit symptoms of the so called ‘gender equality paradox’; implying that significant progress in closing gender gaps in education and health was not accompanied by a comparable increase in female economic and political participation which underscores points to the critical importance of understanding how gendered labor markets and political institutions come about and how they hinder women’s empowerment. Overall, the historical trajectories of fertility, mortality and female labor force participation in the four North African countries seem at odds with both the classical demographic transition theory and with the neoclassical microeconomic theory of fertility (Becker, 1960). Using time series data for the period 1960-2014, I perform econometric analysis of the main drivers of development focusing in particular on the role of fertility, and discuss the implications of the empirical and outline some lessons for developing countries in Africa and other regions.

TRIPS and Diseases of the Developing World

Jevay Grooms
University of Washington


Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death in the developing world. Difficulties in the eradication of such diseases has been exasperated by poor sanitation, lack of clean water, populations concentrated in rural areas, poor education and insufficient infastructure. International efforts have proven necessary to help resource-limited nations improve their public health. The inability to control infectious disease is two-fold; lack of access and lack of research. While advancements in treatment for infectious disease is necessary, developed countries have been able to nearly eliminate the prevelance of some diseases by way of existing pharmaceuticals. This paper offers insight into the effectiveness of international policy to help improve the public health of less-developed countries. Dates countries were required to enforce TRIPS, an international patent policy, are utilized to help determine if it improved or possibly limited a country's access to pharmaceutical drugs and in turn impacted their ability to meet their health needs.
Mary Lopez
Occidental College
Elizabeth Asiedu
University of Kansas
Colin Cannonier
Belmont University
Gregory Price
Morehouse College
JEL Classifications
  • I1 - Health
  • J1 - Demographic Economics