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Headlights on tobacco road to low birthweight outcomes - Evidence from a battery of quantile regression estimators and a heterogeneous panelCreation-Date: 20080508

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  • Stefan Holst Bache
  • Christian M. Dahl
  • Johannes Tang

    ()
    (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark and CREATES)

Abstract

Low birthweight outcomes are associated with large social and economic costs, and therefore the possible determinants of low birthweight are of great interest. One such determinant which has received considerable attention is maternal smoking. From an economic perspective this is in part due to the possibility that smoking habits can be influenced through policy conduct. It is widely believed that maternal smoking reduces birthweight; however, the crucial diffculty in estimating such effects is the unobserved heterogeneity among mothers and the fact that estimation of conditional mean effects seems inappropriate. Previous results, both in the medical and economic literature, suggest significant consequences for birthweight of prenatal smoking, yet the applied statistical approaches differ — a fact which does have an impact on the suggested magnitudes of the effects. The present paper provides a unified view on the estimation of relationships between prenatal smoking and birthweight outcomes with focus on quantile regression approaches. The estimations are based on a very detailed and extensive data set, and model performance is evaluated by means of Monte Carlo simulation. We thus contribute to the literature in three ways: i) we focus not only on one technique, but provide evidence from several approaches and highlight a variety of statistical issues; ii) the performance of the models are thoroughly tested in a simulated environment, and recommendations are given regarding the appropriateness of the individual models; iii) the results are based on a detailed data set, which includes many relevant control variables for socio-economic, wealth, and personal characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series CREATES Research Papers with number 2008-20.

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Length: 34
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Handle: RePEc:aah:create:2008-20

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Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

Related research

Keywords: Low Birthweight; Maternal Smoking; Quantile Regression; Random Correlated Effects; Fixed Effects;

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References

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  1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275.
  3. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, Elsevier, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  4. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  5. Jason Abrevaya, 2001. "The effects of demographics and maternal behavior on the distribution of birth outcomes," Empirical Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 247-257.
  6. Corman, Hope & Chaikind, Stephen, 1998. "The effect of low birthweight on the school performance and behavior of school-aged children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 307-316, June.
  7. Jason Abrevaya, 2006. "Estimating the effect of smoking on birth outcomes using a matched panel data approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 489-519.
  8. Abrevaya, Jason & Dahl, Christian M, 2008. "The Effects of Birth Inputs on Birthweight," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 379-397.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian M. Dahl & Daniel le Maire & Jakob R. Munch, 2013. "Wage Dispersion and Decentralization of Wage Bargaining," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 501 - 533.

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