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Fetal origins and parental responses

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  • Douglas Almond
  • Bhashkar Mazumder

Abstract

We review the literature on how parental investments respond to health endowments at birth. Recent studies have combined insights from an earlier theoretical literature on how households allocate resources within the family, with a growing empirical literature that identifies early life health shocks using sharp research designs. We describe the econometric challenges in identifying the behavioral responses of parents and how recent studies have sought to address these challenges. We also discuss the emerging literature that has considered how there may be dynamic complementarities in parental investments due to the developmental nature of human capital production and how there may be multiple dimensions of skill. We find that thus far, the bulk of the empirical evidence is consistent with the notion that parents reinforce initial endowments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-2012-14.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2012-14

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Keywords: Human capital ; Prenatal care;

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References

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  1. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alexander M. Gelber & Adam Isen, 2011. "Children’s Schooling and Parents’ Investment in Children: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study," NBER Working Papers 17704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham, 2011. "Endowments and Investment within the Household: Evidence from Iodine Supplementation in Tanzania," Working Papers 998, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  4. Prashant Bharadwaj & Katrine Vellesen L?ken & Christopher Neilson, 2013. "Early Life Health Interventions and Academic Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1862-91, August.
  5. Erica Field & Omar Robles & Maximo Torero, 2009. "Iodine Deficiency and Schooling Attainment in Tanzania," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 140-69, October.
  6. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Zhang, Junsen, 2006. "Do Population Control Policies Induce More Human Capital Investment? Twins, Birthweight, and China's 'One Child' Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 2082, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Venkataramani, Atheendar S., 2012. "Early life exposure to malaria and cognition in adulthood: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 767-780.
  8. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984. "Heterogeneity, Intrafamily Distribution and Child Health," Bulletins 8429, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  9. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Marten Palme, 2007. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," Discussion Papers 0607-19, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  11. Richard Akresh & Emilie Bagby & Daien de Walque & Harounan Kazianga, 2012. "Child Labor, Schooling, and Child Ability," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7478, Mathematica Policy Research.
  12. Emilia Del Bono & John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2012. "Intrafamily Resource Allocations: A Dynamic Structural Model of Birth Weight," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 657 - 706.
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Cited by:
  1. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder & George L. Wehby & Sarah Lewis & Luisa Zuccolo, 2014. "Alcohol Exposure In Utero and Child Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 19839, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Schulkind, Lisa & Shapiro, Teny Maghakian, 2014. "What a difference a day makes: Quantifying the effects of birth timing manipulation on infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 139-158.
  3. Martin Halla & Martina Zweimüller, 2014. "Parental Response to Early Human Capital Shocks: Evidence from the Chernobyl Accident," Economics working papers 2014-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  4. repec:ese:iserwp:2013-28 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Cheti Nicoletti & Birgitta Rabe, 2013. "School inputs and skills: Complementarity and self-productivity," Discussion Papers 13/30, Department of Economics, University of York.

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