County health outcomes linkage to county spending on social services, building infrastructure, and law and order

Carolina Cardona, Neha Sahai Anand, Y. Natalia Alfonso, Jonathon P. Leider, J. Mac McCullough, Beth Resnick, David Bishai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Will counties that reallocate money from law enforcement to social services improve subsequent markers of population wellbeing? In this study, we measure the association between county government spending across multiple sectors and Life Expectancy at Birth (LEB) in the U.S. using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. We constructed a Structural Equation Model to determine whether social expenditure, building infrastructure, and spending on law and order were positively or negatively associated with LEB three-years after initial spending. The analysis compared data between 2002-05 and 2007-10 and was stratified for urban and rural counties. In rural counties, a one-standard-deviation increase in social spending increased subsequent LEB by 0.58 (SE 0.16) and 0.36 (SE 0.16) years in 2005 and 2010, respectively. In urban counties, a one-standard-deviation increase in building infrastructure spending increased subsequent LEB by 1.14 (SE 0.51) and 1.05 (SE 0.49) years in 2005 and 2010, respectively. In 2002, a one-standard-deviation increase in law and order spending significantly decreased subsequent life expectancy, 2.2 (SE 1.27) and 0.46 (SE 0.13) years in urban and rural counties, respectively. Similarly, investments in building infrastructure for urban counties and social services for rural counties were associated with subsequently higher life expectancy three years later after initial investments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100930
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume16
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Econometrics
  • Financial analysis
  • Health economics
  • LISREL
  • Social determinants of health
  • State health policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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