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Do Cash Transfers Improve Birth Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Vital Statistics, Social Security and Program Data

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  • Verónica Amarante
  • Marco Manacorda
  • Edward Miguel
  • Andrea Vigorito

Abstract

There is limited empirical evidence on whether unrestricted cash social assistance to poor pregnant women improves children's birth outcomes. Using program administrative micro-data matched to longitudinal vital statistics on the universe of births in Uruguay, we estimate that participation in a generous cash transfer program led to a sizeable 15% reduction in the incidence of low birthweight. Improvements in mother nutrition and a fall in labor supply, out-of-wedlock births and mother's smoking all appear to contribute to the effect. We conclude that, by improving child health, unrestricted unconditional cash transfers may help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1106.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1106

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

Related research

Keywords: Poverty relief program; maternal health; cash transfers; social assistance; Uruguay; birth outcomes; Low birthweight; Cash transfer program; Nutrition;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Do Cash Transfers Improve Birth Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Vital Statistics, Social Security and Program Data
    by Maximo Rossi in Wikiprogress América Latina on 2012-01-20 15:16:00
  2. Do Cash Transfers Improve Birth Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Vital Statistics, Social Security and Program Data
    by Maximo Rossi in Wikiprogress América Latina on 2012-04-01 23:24:00
  3. Do Cash Transfers Improve Birth Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Vital Statistics, Social Security and Program Data
    by Maximo Rossi in Wikiprogress América Latina on 2012-01-05 20:21:00
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Cited by:
  1. Dorothea Blomeyer & Manfred Laucht & Katja Coneus & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2013. "Early Life Adversity and Childrens Competence Development: Evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 233(4), pages 467-485, July.
  2. Dorothea Blomeyer & Katja Coneus & Manfred Laucht & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2012. "Early Life Adversity and Children's Competence Development: Evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," Working Papers 2012-020, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  3. Marcelo Bergolo & Guillermo Cruces, 2014. "Work and tax evasion incentive effects of social insurance programs. Evidence from an employment-based benefit extension," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0161, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  4. Hilary W. Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & David Simon, 2012. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 18206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Alderman, Harold, 2014. "Can transfer programs be made more nutrition sensitive?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1342, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Blomeyer, Dorothea & Coneus, Katja & Laucht, Manfred, 2013. "Early life adversity and children's competence development: evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79893, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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