Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Natural Disasters and Pregnancy Outcomes in the USA
This article studies the effect of natural disasters on pregnancy outcomes using historical data from the USA. Preterm infants are more likely to be of low birth weight and face increased risk of health problems later in life, implying large long run societal costs. While some of the causes of low birth weight are known, the exact mechanisms leading to prematurity are not well understood. Results confirm that maternal exposure to plausibly exogenous weather events decreases gestational age and birth weight. The negative effects of exposure are particularly strong in the second and early third trimesters of pregnancy, which coincides with the period identified by medical studies as most susceptible to external negative influences. (JEL codes: I10, I12, Q51) Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com, Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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