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Valuing mother and child health: The intrauterine environment

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  • Nastis, Stefanos A.
  • Crocker, Thomas D.

Abstract

The paper estimates the value a mother assigns to own health relative to child health. Estimation of relative health valuation requires the decomposition of a child health improvement into its direct effect on the child's health and its indirect effect, through improvements in maternal health. Failure to distinguish the impact of the direct and indirect effects can lead to biased estimates. We consider the intrauterine environment of a pregnant mother and her unborn child, where maternal health inputs are choice variables and her health affects child health. The empirical estimates suggest that mothers value child health up to six times higher than own health, and that the relative value depends on maternal consumption patterns and household characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Nastis, Stefanos A. & Crocker, Thomas D., 2012. "Valuing mother and child health: The intrauterine environment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 318-328.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:318-328
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2011.03.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Benefit transfer; Birthweight productivity; Maternal health; Child health;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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