Unequal at Birth: A Long-Term Comparison of Income and Birth Weight
AbstractI demonstrate that although socioeconomic differences in birth weight have always been" fairly small in the United States, they have narrowed since the beginning of this century. I argue" that maternal height, and therefore the mother's nutritional status during her growing years accounted for most of the socioeconomic differences in birth weight in the past implying that in the past health inequality was transmitted across generations. I also show that" children born at the beginning of this century compared favorably to modern populations in terms" of birth weights, but suffered higher fetal and neonatal death rates because obstetrical and" medical knowledge was poorer. In addition, by day ten children in the past were at a" disadvantage relative to children today because best practice resulted in insufficient feeding. The" poor average health of past populations therefore originated in part in the first days of life."
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.
Volume (Year): 58 (1998)
Issue (Month): 04 (December)
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Other versions of this item:
- Dora L. Costa, 1999. "Unequal at Birth: A Long-Term Comparison of Income and Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 6313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
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- Janet Currie, 2011. "Ungleichheiten bei der Geburt: Einige Ursachen und Folgen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(s1), pages 42-65, 05.
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- Dora L. Costa, 2003.
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- Costa, Dora L., 2004. "Race and Pregnancy Outcomes in the Twentieth Century: A Long-Term Comparison," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(04), pages 1056-1086, December.
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