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

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  • Amarante, Veronica
  • Manacorda, Marco
  • Miguel, Edward
  • Vigorito, Andrea

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 C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8740.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8740

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Keywords: birth outcomes; welfare transfers;

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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 2012-04-01 23:24:00
  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 2012-01-05 20:21:00
  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 2012-01-20 15:16:00
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Blomeyer, Dorothea & Coneus, Katja & Laucht, Manfred & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2013. "Early Life Adversity and Children's Competence Development: Evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," IZA Discussion Papers 7216, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.

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