The 2016 US presidential election was disproportionately associated with adverse birth outcomes for infants born to Black and Hispanic mothers

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Andrews Room 2203 SS&H

Presenter: Paola Langer, PhD Candidate, Sociology, UC Davis

Discussant: Reem Zaiour (Economics)

AbstractMacro-level events like elections can improve or harm the health of structurally disadvantaged groups in the long term through policy changes and in the short term through signals of inclusion or threat. We assess whether Donald Trump’s November 2016 election, which was characterized by xenophobic and racist messages of intimidation and exclusion, impacted birth outcomes in the 18 months following his election and, if so, whether these impacts differed across infants born to mothers in different race/ethnic and nativity groups. Using data from 5,702,275 U.S. births between July 2015 and May 2018, we find that Trump’s election was associated with an immediate and disproportionately large increase in adverse birth outcomes among U.S.- and foreign-born Black and Hispanic mothers. As a result, the election was associated with the widening of Black-White and Hispanic-White health disparities in birth outcomes. Our findings suggest that Trump’s election was a racist macro-level political event that unequally impacted the health of infants along racial lines.

Keywords: Infant health, low birthweight, preterm birth, systemic racismimmigrants

Lunch will be provided

Funding graciously provided by UC Davis Gifford Center for Population Studies.

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