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The Effect of Prenatal Stress on Birth Weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada

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  • Hani Mansour
  • Daniel I. Rees

Abstract

No previous study has attempted to estimate the effect of intrauterine exposure to armed conflict, a potential source of stress, on pregnancy outcomes. Drawing on data from the 2004 Palestinian Demographic and Health Survey, we examine the relationship between fatalities caused by Israeli security forces (a measure of conflict intensity) and birth weight. Our estimates suggest that first-trimester fatalities are positively related to the probability that a child weighed less than 2,500 grams at birth. This result is consistent with medical studies showing a strong negative correlation between self-reported stress during the first trimester of pregnancy and birth weight.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.368783.de/dp1108.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1108.

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Length: 44 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1108

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Keywords: Birth weight; prenatal stress; Israeli-Palestinian conflict;

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References

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  1. Hani Mansour, 2010. "The Effects of Labor Supply Shocks on Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1014, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
  3. Sharon L. Maccini & Dean Yang, 2008. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," NBER Working Papers 14031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," NBER Technical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sandra E. Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2006. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE 0061, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  6. Thomas S. Dee & Brian A. Jacob, 2012. "Rational Ignorance in Education: A Field Experiment in Student Plagiarism," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 397-434.
  7. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2010. "Robust Inference with Clustered Data," Working Papers, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics 106, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  8. Adriana Camacho, 2008. "Stress and Birth Weight: Evidence from Terrorist Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 511-15, May.
  9. Jaeger, David A & Paserman, Marco Daniele, 2005. "The Cycle of Violence? An Empirical Analysis of Fatalities in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5320, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing. 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  11. Ming-Jen Lin & Jin-Tan Liu & Shin-Yi Chou, 2007. "As Low Birth Weight Babies Grow, Can 'Good' Parents Buffer this Adverse Factor? A Research Note," NBER Working Papers 12857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hilary W. Hoynes & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2009. "Is a WIC Start a Better Start? Evaluating WIC’s Impact on Infant Health Using Program Introduction," NBER Working Papers 15589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 1-45, February.
  14. Awad Mataria & Rita Giacaman & Angelo Stefanini & Nirmala Naidoo & Paul Kowal & Somnath Chatterji, 2009. "The quality of life of Palestinians living in chronic conflict: assessment and determinants," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 93-101, February.
  15. Anna Aizer & Laura Stroud & Stephen Buka, 2012. "Maternal Stress and Child Outcomes: Evidence from Siblings," NBER Working Papers 18422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Lindo, Jason M., 2010. "Parental Job Loss and Infant Health," IZA Discussion Papers 5213, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Sonia Laszlo & Franque Grimard, 2010. "Long Term Effects Of Civil Conflict On Women'S Health Outcomes In Peru," Departmental Working Papers, McGill University, Department of Economics 2010-05, McGill University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Richter, André & Robling, Per Olof, 2013. "Multigenerational e ffects of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in Sweden," Working Paper Series, Swedish Institute for Social Research 5/2013, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  2. Bejenariu, Simona & Mitrut, Andreea, 2012. "Austerity Measures and Infant Health. Lessons from an Unexpected Wage Cut Policy," Working Paper Series, Uppsala University, Department of Economics 2012:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics, revised 10 Oct 2013.

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