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Health Information and Health Outcomes: An Application of the Regression Discontinuity Design to the 1995 UK Contraceptive Pill Scare Case

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  • Emilia Del Bono
  • Marco Francesconi

    ()

  • Nicky Best

Abstract

This paper provides a general formulation of the regression discontinuity (RD) design and shows its general applicability to many epidemiological problems. It then applies the RD method to estimate the e�ects of the 1995 pill scare in the UK, using individual birth records and aggregate monthly statistics. The results show that, following the announce- ment of the health warning on the \third generation" pill, conception rates increased by about 7%, with a 9% increase in abortion rates and a 6-7% rise in birth rates. No e�ect was found on still births, very low birth weight, sex ratios, or average birth weight. There is evidence of a slight increase in the rates of low birth weight births and multiple births and of a considerable reduction in the rate of births with congenital anomalies. Hetero- geneity by mother's age and social class is very pronounced, with most of the e�ects being experienced by women aged less than 25 and of lower socioeconomic status.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 696.

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Date of creation: 09 Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:696

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  1. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  2. Agar Brugiavini & Erich Battistin, & Enrico Rettore & Guglielmo Weber, 2007. "The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," Working Papers 2007_27, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
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  5. David S. Lee & David Card, 2006. "Regression Discontinuity Inference with Specification Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2002. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  10. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
  11. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  12. Chen, Susan & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2008. "The work disincentive effects of the disability insurance program in the 1990s," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 757-784, February.
  13. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2008. "Regression-Discontinuity Analysis: A Survey of Recent Developments in Economics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(2), pages 219-245, 06.
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