The Cuban Revolution and Infant Mortality, 1959-1974

Vincent Geloso

I have a new working paper available. This time, it concerns Cuba (again) and I joined efforts with my friend Jamie Bologna Pavlik of Texas Tech University to write up that paper. We used a synthetic control method to assess the effect of the 1959 revolution on Cuba’s infant mortality rate. As health outcomes are often presented as the Castro regime’s best accomplishment (and yet there exists no attempt to disentangle the true effects of the revolution), we decided that this was a paper whose time had come. We find that infant mortality went up relative to the counterfactual between 1959 and 1970 but then reverted back to the counterfactual (a reversal which we attribute to the ramping-up of Soviet subsidies to Cuba). Overall, somewhere between 33,000 and 41,000 extra infant deaths occurred between 1959 and 1974. The paper is available here on SSRN and the abstract is below:

The…

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