Maternity Care Services and Infant Health in Rural China


This paper utilizes microdata from the China In-depth Fertility Survey to examine changes in maternity care services and their effects in rural China during the collective era. The data reveal a significant improvement in childbirth conditions: the percentage of hospital deliveries increased by 11.2%, and for home deliveries, the percentage of women receiving assistance from medical workers increased by 10.1%. Regressions with mother fixed effects show that both hospital deliveries and home deliveries with assistance from doctors or midwives significantly lowered infant mortality. Robustness checks exclude confounding factors such as premature deliveries and family planning policies. Instrumental regression is employed to address the endogeneity problem related to women’s health status, and the results confirm the importance of improving childbirth conditions for infant health.

Researches In Chinese Economic History (Chinese)