In this Book

Making Americans Healthier
summary
The United States spends billions of dollars annually on social and economic policies aimed at improving the lives of its citizens, but the health consequences associated with these policies are rarely considered. In Making Americans Healthier, a group of multidisciplinary experts shows how social and economic policies seemingly unrelated to medical well-being have dramatic consequences for the health of the American people. Most previous research concerning problems with health and healthcare in the United States has focused narrowly on issues of medical care and insurance coverage, but Making Americans Healthier demonstrates the important health consequences that policymakers overlook in traditional cost-benefit evaluations of social policy. The contributors examine six critical policy areas: civil rights, education, income support, employment, welfare, and neighborhood and housing. Among the important findings in this book, David Cutler and Adriana Lleras-Muney document the robust relationship between educational attainment and health, and estimate that the health benefits of education may exceed even the well-documented financial returns of education. Pamela Herd, James House, and Robert Schoeni discover notable health benefits associated with the Supplemental Security Income Program, which provides financial support for elderly and disabled Americans. George Kaplan, Nalini Ranjit, and Sarah Burgard document a large and unanticipated improvement in the health of African-American women following the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Making Americans Healthier presents ground-breaking evidence that the health impact of many social policies is substantial. The important findings in this book pave the way for promising new avenues for intervention and convincingly demonstrate that ultimately social and economic policy is health policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. About the Authors
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-ivx
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  1. Part I: Introduction
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. Chapter 1. The Health Effects of Social and Economic Policy: The Promise and Challenge for Research and Policy
  2. pp. 3-26
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  1. Part II: Education Policy
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. Chapter 2. Education and Health:Evaluating Theories and Evidence
  2. pp. 29-60
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  1. Chapter 3. Health Effects of Human Development Policies
  2. pp. 61-94
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  1. Part III: Income Transfer Policy
  2. pp. 95-96
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  1. Chapter 4. Income Support Policies and Health Among the Elderly
  2. pp. 97-121
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  1. Chapter 5. Did the Introduction of Food Stamps Affect Birth Outcomes in California?
  2. pp. 122-142
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  1. Part IV: Civil Rights
  2. pp. 143-144
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  1. Chapter 6. Lifting Gates, Lengthening Lives: Did Civil Rights Policies Improve the Health of African American Women in the1960s and 1970s?
  2. pp. 145-170
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  1. Part V: Macroeconomic and Employment Policy
  2. pp. 171-172
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  1. Chapter 7. Macroeconomic Conditions, Health, and Government Policy
  2. pp. 173-200
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  1. Chapter 8. The New Employment Contract and Worker Health in the United States
  2. pp. 201-228
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  1. Part VI: Welfare Policy
  2. pp. 229-230
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  1. Chapter 9. Welfare Reform and Indirect Impacts on Health
  2. pp. 231-280
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  1. Chapter 10. The Effects of Welfare and Child Support Policies on Maternal Health and Well-Being
  2. pp. 281-306
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  1. Part VII: Housing and Neighborhood Policy
  2. pp. 307-308
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  1. Chapter 11. Residential Environments and Obesity:What Can We Learn About Policy Interventions from Observational Studies?
  2. pp. 309-343
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  1. Chapter 12. Are Some Neighborhoods Better for Child Health than Others?
  2. pp. 344-376
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  1. Part VIII: Conclusion
  2. pp. 377-378
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  1. Chapter 13. Social and Economic Policies as Health Policy: Moving Toward a New Approach to Improving Health in America
  2. pp. 379-390
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 391-398
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