The effects of maternal fasting during Ramadan on birth and adult outcomes
AbstractWe use the Islamic holy month of Ramadan as a natural experiment for evaluating the short and long-term effects of fasting during pregnancy. Using Michigan natality data we show that in utero exposure to Ramadan among Arab births results in lower birthweight and reduced gestation length. Preconception exposure to Ramadan is also associated with fewer male births. Using Census data in Uganda we also find that Muslims who were born nine months after Ramadan are 22 percent (p =0.02) more likely to be disabled as adults. Effects are found for vision, hearing, and especially for mental (or learning) disabilities. This may reflect the persistent effect of disruptions to early fetal development. We find no evidence that negative selection in conceptions during Ramadan accounts for our results. Nevertheless, caution in interpreting these results is warranted until our findings are corroborated in other settings. ; Not for Citation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-07-22.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: P.O. Box 834, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-0834
Web page: http://www.chicagofed.org/
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Valente, C;, 2011.
"Children of the Revolution: Fetal and Child Health amidst Violent Civil Conflict,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
11/12, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Christine Valente, 2011. "Children of the Revolution: Fetal and Child Health amidst Violent Civil Conflict," Working Papers 2011018, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
- Reyn van Ewijk, 2009.
"Long-Term Health Effects on the Next Generation of Ramadan Fasting During Pregnancy,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0926, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- van Ewijk, Reyn, 2011. "Long-term health effects on the next generation of Ramadan fasting during pregnancy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1246-1260.
- Belton M. Fleisher & Seonghoon Kim, 2010. "The China Great Leap Forward Famine: The Lasting Impact of Mothers’ Fetal Malnutrition on Their Offspring," Working Papers 09-04, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernie Flores).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.