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Title: The Long-term Effects of Hospital Deliveries in Sweden 

Abstract: This paper analyzes the long-term effects on mortality and socio-economic outcomes from being born in a maternity ward compared to home births. We focus on two Swedish public health interventions that affected the costs of hospital deliveries and the supply of maternity wards during the 1926–46 period. Using exogenous variation from the supply of maternity wards to instrument the likelihood of giving birth in an institution, we find that giving birth in a maternity ward has substantial effects on later-life outcomes such as educational attainment and mortality. The positive effects on socio-economic outcomes cannot be fully explained by increases in selective survival. We argue that a decrease in child morbidity from better treatment in the case of complications could be a likely explanation for the large gains from being born in a hospital. This intepretation is corroborated by evidence from primary school performance, which a large reduction in the probability of being low performing. In contrast to an immediate and large take-up in hospital deliveries as response to an increase in the supply of maternity wards, we find no increase in hospital births from the abolishment of fees – but instead some degree of displacement of high-SES parents.

Bio: Martin Karlsson is Professor of Economics of the University of Duisburg-Essen since 2012. Before taking up his current position at the Chair of Health Economics in Essen, Martin has been working at the Technische Universität Darmstadt (2009-2012), at the University of Oslo (2009-2016) at the University of Oxford (2006-2009) and at Cass Business School in London (2005-2006). Martin received his doctoral degree from the European University Institute in 2007. Beside his work at the Chair of Health Economics, Martin is a Research Fellow of IZA, a Guest Professor at Lund University and Director of CINCH, a national centre for research on health economics. Martin regularly organises international academic conferences on different current topics within health economics, and he participates in various international research collaborations.