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The Effect of Maternal Drug Use on Birth Weight: Measurement Error in Binary Variables

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  • Robert Kaestner
  • Theodore Joyce
  • Hassan Wehbeh

Abstract

This paper develops a method to correct for non-random measurement error in a binary indicator of illicit drugs. Our results suggest that estimates of the effect of self reported prenatal drug use on birth weight are biased upwards by measurement error -- a finding contrary to predictions of a model of random measurement error. We show that more accurate estimates of the true effect of drug use on birth weight can be obtained by using the predicted probability of falsely reporting drug use. This suggests that out-of-sample information on drug use may improve estimates of the effect of reported drug use in other settings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5434.

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Date of creation: Jan 1996
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Publication status: published as Economic Inquiry, Vol. 34, no. 4, (October 1996), pp. 617-629.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5434

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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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References

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  1. Brownstone, David, 1991. "Multiple Imputations for LInear Regression Models," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6rv6n3sd, University of California Transportation Center.
  2. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
  3. Theodore Joyce, 1990. "Self-Selection, Prenatal Care, and Birthweight Among Blacks, Whites and Hispanics in New York City," NBER Working Papers 3549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Levi, Maurice D, 1973. "Errors in the Variables Bias in the Presence of Correctly Measured Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 985-86, September.
  5. Brownstone, David, 1991. "Multiple Imputations for Linear Regression Models," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5rv0265r, University of California Transportation Center.
  6. Michael Grossman & Theodore J. Joyce, 1991. "Unobservables, Pregnancy Resolutions, and Birthweight Production Functions in New York City," NBER Working Papers 2746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Theodore Joyce & Andrew D. Racine & Sandra McCalla & Hassan Wehbeh, 1994. "The Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine on Newborn Costs and Length of Stay," NBER Working Papers 4673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Theodore Joyce & Andrew D. Racine & Naci Mocan, 1992. "The Consequences and Costs of Maternal Substance Abuse in New York City," NBER Working Papers 3987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. June E. O'Neill & Dave M. O'Neill, 2007. "Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S," NBER Working Papers 13429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave, 2005. "Prenatal Drug Use and the Production of Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 11433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Edin, Per-Anders & Gustavsson, Magnus, 2005. "Time out of work and skill depreciation," Working Paper Series 2005:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2006. "Typically Unobserved Variables (TUVs) and Selection into Prenatal Inputs: Implications for Estimating Infant Health Production Functions," NBER Working Papers 12004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Theodore Joyce, 1997. "Impact of Augmented Prenatal Care on Birth Outcomes of Medicaid Recipients in New York City," NBER Working Papers 6029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2009. "Infant health production functions: what a difference the data make," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 761-782.
  7. Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Dhaval Dave, 2004. "Demand for Illicit Drugs by Pregnant Women," NBER Working Papers 10688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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