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Short, Medium, and Long Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis using Siblings and Twins

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  • Phil Oreopoulos
  • Mark Stabile
  • Randy Walld
  • Leslie Roos

Abstract

We use administrative data on a sample of births between 1978 and 1985 to investigate the short, medium and long-term consequences of poor infant health. Our findings offer several advances to the existing literature on the effects of early infant health on subsequent health, education, and labor force attachment. First, we use a large sample of both siblings and twins, second we use a variety of measures of infant health, and finally we track children through their schooling years and into the labor force. Our findings suggest that poor infant health is a strong predictor of educational and labor force outcomes. In particular, infant health is found to predict both high school completion and social assistance (welfare) take-up and length.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11998.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Publication status: published as Oreopoulos, Philip, Mark Stabile, Leslie Roos, and Randy Walld. “The Short, Medium, and Long Term Effects of Poor Infant Health.” Journal of Human Resources 43, 1 (2008): 88-138.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11998

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  1. S Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Childrens Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0050, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  2. Janet Currie & Enrico Moreti, 2005. "Biology As Destiny? Short And Long-Run Determinants Of Intergenerational Transmission Of Birth Weight," Working Papers id:194, eSocialSciences.
  3. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2004. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 10552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sandra E Black & Paul J Devereux & Kjell G Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439, 02.
  5. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
  6. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hanratty, Maria J, 1996. "Canadian National Health Insurance and Infant Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 276-84, March.
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