The Costs of Low Birth Weight
AbstractLow birth weight (LBW) infants experience severe health and developmental difficulties that can impose large costs on society. However, estimates of the return to LBW-prevention from cross-sectional associations may be biased by omitted variables, such as genetic factors. To address this, we compare the hospital costs, health at birth, and infant mortality rates between heavier and lighter infants from all twin pairs born in the United States. We also examine the effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy-the leading risk factor for LBW in the United States-on health among singleton births after controlling for detailed background characteristics. Both analyses imply substantially smaller effects of LBW per se than previously thought, suggesting two possibilities: 1) existing estimates overstate the true costs and consequences of LBW by at least a factor of four and by as much as a factor of twenty; or 2) different LBW-preventing interventions have different health and cost consequences, implying that policy efforts that presume a single return to reducing LBW will be suboptimal. © 2005 MIT Press
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 120 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/
Other versions of this item:
- H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Grossman, Michael & Joyce, Theodore J, 1990.
"Unobservables, Pregnancy Resolutions, and Birth Weight Production Functions in New York City,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 983-1007, October.
- Michael Grossman & Theodore J. Joyce, 1991. "Unobservables, Pregnancy Resolutions, and Birthweight Production Functions in New York City," NBER Working Papers 2746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hanratty, Maria J, 1996. "Canadian National Health Insurance and Infant Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 276-84, March.
- Currie, J. & Cole, N., 1992.
"Welfare and Child Health: the Link Between AFDC Participation and Birth Weight,"
92-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Currie, Janet & Cole, Nancy, 1993. "Welfare and Child Health: The Link between AFDC Participation and Birth Weight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 971-85, September.
- Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999.
"Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
- Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," NBER Working Papers 6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan, 1996. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Changes in the Medicaid Eligibility of Pregnant Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1263-96, December.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1991. "Inequality at birth : The scope for policy intervention," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 205-228, October.
- Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother'S Education And The Intergenerational Transmission Of Human Capital: Evidence From College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532, November.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Karie Kirkpatrick).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.