Convenience and the Occurrence of Births Induction of Labor in the United States and Canada
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This paper, using data for the United States and Canada on number of births by day of the week, presents indirect evidence for the widespread incidence of the practice of elective induction. For both the United States and Canada, it is found that substantially fewer births occur on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays than on weekdays. Controlling for such factors as prenatal care, race, education, legitimacy, birth weight, and time trend strongly suggests that the induction of labor is responsible for the patterns found. The paper concludes by discussing the framework within which the practice of elective induction of labor should be evaluated and justified.
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