Publicado Jun 1, 2008

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Haejoo Chung

Carles Muntaner



Economic indicators such as income inequality are gaining attention as putative determinants

of population health. On the other hand, we are just beginning to explore the

health impact on population health of political and welfare state variables such as political

orientation of government or type of medical care coverage. To determine the socially

structured impact of political and welfare state variables on low birth weight rate, infant

mortality rate, and under-five mortality rate, we conducted an ecological study with un



time-series data from 19 wealthy OECD countries for the years from 1960 to

1994. Among the political/welfare state variables, total public medical coverage was the

most significant predictor of the mortality outcomes. The low birth weight rate was more

sensitive to political predictors such as percentage of vote obtained by social democratic

or labor parties. Overall, political and welfare state variables (including indicators of health

policies) are associated with infant and child health indicators. While a strong medical care

system seems crucial to some population health outcomes (e.g., the infant mortality rate),

other population health outcomes might be impacted by social policies enacted by parties

supporting strong welfare states (the low birth weight rate). Our investigation suggests that

strong political will that advocates for more egalitarian welfare policies, including public

medical services, is important in maintaining and improving the nation’s health. © 2006

Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Cómo citar
Chung, H., & Muntaner, C. (2008). Political and Welfare State Determinants of Infant and Children’s Health Indicators:An Analysis of Wealthy Countries. Gerencia Y Políticas De Salud, 7(14). Recuperado a partir de