IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jhecon/v33y2014icp139-158.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

What a difference a day makes: Quantifying the effects of birth timing manipulation on infant health

Author

Listed:
  • Schulkind, Lisa
  • Shapiro, Teny Maghakian

Abstract

Scheduling births for non-medical reasons has become an increasingly common practice in the United States and around the world. We exploit a natural experiment created by child tax benefits, which rewards births that occur just before the new year, to better understand the full costs of elective c-sections and inductions. Using data on all births in the U.S. from 1990 to 2000, we first confirm that expectant parents respond to the financial incentives by electing to give birth in December rather than January. We find that most of the manipulation comes from changes in the timing of c-sections. Small birth timing changes, even at full-term, lead to lower birthweight, a lower Apgar score, and an increase in the likelihood of being low birthweight.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:139-158
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.11.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629613001458
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2013. "Fetal Origins and Parental Responses," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 37-56, May.
    2. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
    3. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew, 2009. "Born on the first of July: An (un)natural experiment in birth timing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 246-263, February.
    4. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
    5. Jonathan Gruber, 2005. "Tax Policy for Health Insurance," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19, pages 39-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439.
    7. Shearer, Elizabeth L., 1993. "Cesarean section: Medical benefits and costs," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1223-1231, November.
    8. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1995. "Does the Income Tax Affect Marital Decisions?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 565-72, December.
    9. Gans Joshua S & Leigh Andrew, 2006. "Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-9, November.
    10. Sjoquist, David L. & Walker, Mary Beth, 1995. "The Marriage Tax and the Rate and Timing of Marriage," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(4), pages 547-58, December.
    11. Michael Neugart & Henry Ohlsson, 2013. "Economic incentives and the timing of births: evidence from the German parental benefit reform of 2007," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 87-108, January.
    12. Aparna Lhila & Kosali Simon, 2008. "Prenatal health investment decisions: Does the child’s sex matter?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(4), pages 885-905, November.
    13. Sara LaLumia & James M. Sallee & Nicholas Turner, 2015. "New Evidence on Taxes and the Timing of Birth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 258-293, May.
    14. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    15. Lo, Joan C., 2003. "Patients' attitudes vs. physicians' determination: implications for cesarean sections," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 91-96, July.
    16. Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2012. "Bargaining Over Labour: Do Patients Have Any Power?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(281), pages 182-194, June.
    17. 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.
    18. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "Dying to Save Taxes: Evidence from Estate-Tax Returns on the Death Elasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 256-265, May.
    19. David Figlio & Jonathan Guryan & Krzysztof Karbownik & Jeffrey Roth, 2014. "The Effects of Poor Neonatal Health on Children's Cognitive Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(12), pages 3921-3955, December.
    20. Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
    21. Sjoquist, David L. & Walker, Mary Beth, 1995. "The Marriage Tax and the Rate and Timing of Marriage," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 48(4), pages 547-558, December.
    22. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1995. "Does the Income Tax Affect Marital Decisions?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 48(4), pages 565-572, December.
    23. Gans, Joshua S. & Leigh, Andrew & Varganova, Elena, 2007. "Minding the shop: The case of obstetrics conferences," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(7), pages 1458-1465, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Martin Halla & Chia-Lun Liu & Jin-Tan Liu, 2019. "The Effect of Superstition on Health: Evidence from the Taiwanese Ghost Month," Economics working papers 2019-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Sara LaLumia & James M. Sallee & Nicholas Turner, 2015. "New Evidence on Taxes and the Timing of Birth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 258-293, May.
    3. Philippe Wingender & Sara LaLumia, 2015. "Income Effects in Labor Supply: Evidence from Child-Related Tax Benefits," Department of Economics Working Papers 2015-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    4. Almond, Douglas & Chee, Christine Pal & Sviatschi, Maria Micaela & Zhong, Nan, 2015. "Auspicious birth dates among Chinese in California," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 153-159.
    5. Hendrik Jürges, 2017. "Financial incentives, timing of births, and infant health: a closer look into the delivery room," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(2), pages 195-208, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infant health; Birth weight; Cesarean section; Induction; Maternity care;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:139-158. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.