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Maternal Depression and the Production of Infant Health

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  • Karen Smith Conway

    ()
    (University of New Hampshire)

  • Lisa DeFelice Kennedy

    (Bachrodt Academy, San Jose Unified School District)

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    Abstract

    Depression is most prevalent among women of childbearing age and among low-income women, and the medical literature shows it to have adverse effects on infant health. Yet maternal depression has been overlooked in economic studies of infant health production. This research incorporates maternal depressive symptoms into a standard infant health production model and estimates both structural and reduced-form birth weight equations using samples of non-Hispanic white and black women from the National Maternal and Infant Health Survey. A byproduct of this research is an empirical investigation into factors associated with maternal depressive symptoms. All results show that depressive symptoms have a negative effect on birth weight and that they may operate through several channels such as smoking and prenatal care.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 71 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 (October)
    Pages: 260-286

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    Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:71:2:y:2004:p:260-286

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    Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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    Cited by:
    1. Nastis, Stefanos A. & Crocker, Thomas D., 2012. "Valuing mother and child health: The intrauterine environment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 318-328.
    2. Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave, 2007. "Prenatal drug use and the production of infant health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 361-384.
    3. Partha Deb & Karen Smith Conway, 2002. "Is Prenatal Care Really Ineffective? Or, is the 'Devil' in the Distribution?," Hunter College Department of Economics Working Papers 02/2, Hunter College: Department of Economics.
    4. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2009. "Infant health production functions: what a difference the data make," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 761-782.
    5. Joan Costa-Font & Joan Gil, 2008. "Would Socio-Economic Inequalities in Depression Fade Away with Income Transfers?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 539-558, December.
    6. Karen Smith Conway & Andrea Kutinova, 2006. "Maternal health: does prenatal care make a difference?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 461-488.
    7. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2006. "Typically Unobserved Variables (TUVs) and Selection into Prenatal Inputs: Implications for Estimating Infant Health Production Functions," Working Papers 930, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Migration and Development..

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