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Do lower birth weight babies have lower grades? Twin fixed effect and instrumental variable method evidence from Taiwan

  • Lin, Ming-Jen
  • Liu, Jin-Tan

By combining two unique Taiwanese datasets, this paper investigates how birth weight affects grades at age 15 years. To tackle the endogeneity problem caused by omitted variables, we first compare birth weight and grade variation within twins. We find that birth weight does increase grades but only when both twins weigh less than 3000Â g at birth, which indicates that the effect is non-linear, and when the weight difference between the twins is larger than 200Â g. Furthermore, twin fixed effect estimates are similar to the ordinary least squares (OLSs) ones. We then use the public health budget and the number of doctors in the county where the children were born as instrumental variables for the children's birth weight. We found that instrumental variable estimates are significant only for the less educated (

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 10 (May)
Pages: 1780-1787

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:68:y:2009:i:10:p:1780-1787
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