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Immigration policy and birth weight: Positive externalities in Italian law

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  • Salmasi, Luca
  • Pieroni, Luca

Abstract

A decade ago, the political party of the Italian center-right voted a law restricting immigration. The law became effective in early 2005, when the Italian parliament approved the decree for its application, but one of its articles, granting amnesty for illegal immigrant workers, became immediately effective in July 2002. As a result, 650,000 immigrants were granted the status of foreign nationals in Italy. In this paper, we examine whether the increase in the prevalence of “regular immigrants” has led to an improvement in health outcomes of babies born to migrant women, measured in terms of birth weight. Two hitherto unexploited birth sample surveys published by Italian Institute of Statistics were used for this study. Our estimates show that regularized immigration reduced the probability of low birth weight.

Suggested Citation

  • Salmasi, Luca & Pieroni, Luca, 2015. "Immigration policy and birth weight: Positive externalities in Italian law," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 128-139.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:43:y:2015:i:c:p:128-139
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2015.06.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2018. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(1), pages 6-47, July.
    2. Pieroni, Luca & d'Agostino, Giorgio & Lanari, Donatella, 2019. "The effects of language skills on immigrant employment and wages in Italy," MPRA Paper 91725, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Birthweight; Immigrant regularization; Propensity score matching; Difference-in-differences; Neonatal health;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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