Is high-tech care in a middle-income country worth it?: Evidence from perinatal centres in Russia

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© 2016 The Authors Economics of Transition © 2016 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Published by Blackwell Publishing LtdHow much does a dramatic increase in technology improve healthcare quality in an upper middle-income country? Using rich vital statistics on infant health outcomes, this study evaluates the effect of introducing technologically advanced perinatal hospitals in 24 regions of Russia on infant mortality during the period 2009–2013. A 7-year aggregate panel dataset reveals that opening a perinatal centre corresponds to infant mortality reduction by 3.8 percent from the baseline rate, neonatal (0–28 day) mortality by 7 percent and early neonatal (0–6 day) mortality by 7.3 percent. We find that the perinatal centres help to save 263 additional infant lives annually, ranging from 3 to 25 lives in regions with different birth rates. However, we further find that an average cost per life saved is 52 million rb (or 2.6 million 2014 PPP USD), which is much higher than the cost of similar interventions in the United States.






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Nigmatulina, D, and CM Becker (2016). Is high-tech care in a middle-income country worth it?: Evidence from perinatal centres in Russia. Economics of Transition, 24(4). pp. 585–620. 10.1111/ecot.12098 Retrieved from

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Charles Maxwell Becker

Research Professor of Economics

Charles Becker is interested in exploring the economies of such countries as Kazakhstan, India, sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. His research has focused on economic demography, social security system forecasting, CGE modeling, mortality and disability risk, determinants of health care utilization, computable general equilibrium simulation modeling, and urban economics. His on-going projects involve assessing infant mortality rates, poverty in developing countries, accidental deaths in middle-income countries, and the performance of minority students in Economics doctoral programs. He recently worked with Irina Merkuryeva on a project investigating, “Disability Risk and Miraculous Recoveries in Russia,” and with Rebecca Anthopolos on, “Gobal Infant Mortality: Initial results from a cross-country infant mortality comparison project.” He also collaborated with Grigory Marchenko, Sabit Khakimzhanov, Ai-Gul Seitenova, and Vladimir Ivliev on a project entitled, “Social Secutiry Reform in Transition Economies: Lessons from Kazakhstan,” and with Amitava Krishna Dutt and Jaime Ros on, “Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration.”

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