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Unplanned Pregnancy & the Impact on Sibling Health Outcomes

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This work considers the impact that a new sibling has on a child?s health status. Objective health outcomes are observed before a new addition(s) to the family, with the same outcomes being observed afterwards. In addition, this work examines whether planning matters with respect to this dilution effect. That is, we argue that dilution effects should be higher in the event that an additional sibling is unplanned. To our knowledge this is unexplored in the literature with respect to all areas of parental resource allocation. The data used relates to a sample of approximately 2000 children from Peru. These children?s parents have been surveyed at 1 year and again at 5 years. To test our hypothesis we exploit data from both waves of the survey. For health outcomes the impact on height for age z scores and weight for age z scores are considered. The results highlight significant independent effects on both height and weight for age when an unplanned sibling is added to the household. In addition, the results show that it is the most vulnerable children that are impacted the most by an unplanned sibling. A subsequent analysis highlights that it is the lowest socio- economic households that are the most likely to have an unplanned sibling.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series Discussion Papers Series with number 419.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:419

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  1. Behrman, Jere R., 1988. "Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality : Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 43-62, February.
  2. Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang & Yi Zhu, 2008. "The quantity-Quality trade-Off of children In a developing country: Identification using chinese twins," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 223-243, February.
  3. Chen, Yuyu & Li, Hongbin, 2009. "Mother's education and child health: Is there a nurturing effect?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 413-426, March.
  4. Monazza Aslam, 2009. "Education Gender Gaps in Pakistan: Is the Labor Market to Blame?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 747-784, 07.
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