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

Listed author(s):
  • 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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  1. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1864, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Jason Boardman & Daniel Powers & Yolanda Padilla & Robert Hummer, 2002. "Low birth weight, social factors, and developmental outcomes among children in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 353-368, May.
  3. Joshua D. Angrist, 2003. "Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Theory and Practice," NBER Working Papers 9708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ming-Jen Lin & Jin-Tan Liu & Shin-Yi Chou, 2007. "As low birth weight babies grow, can well-educated parents buffer this adverse factor? A research note," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(2), pages 335-343, May.
  5. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  6. Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," NBER Working Papers 6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Phil Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie Roos, 2006. "Short, Medium, and Long Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis using Siblings and Twins," NBER Working Papers 11998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Conley, Dalton & Strully, Kate W. & Bennett, Neil G., 2006. "Twin differences in birth weight: The effects of genotype and prenatal environment on neonatal and post-neonatal mortality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 151-183, June.
  9. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1995. "Sisters, Siblings, and Mothers: The Effect of Teen-Age Childbearing on Birth Outcomes in a Dynamic Family Context," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 303-326, March.
  10. 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.
  11. Evans, William N. & Ringel, Jeanne S., 1999. "Can higher cigarette taxes improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 135-154, April.
  12. Ming-Jen Lin & Jin-Tan Liu & Shin-Yi Chou, 2007. "As Low Birth Weight Babies Grow, Can 'Good' Parents Buffer this Adverse Factor? A Research Note," NBER Working Papers 12857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. repec:ucn:wpaper:10197/317 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
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