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The Effects of Employment while Pregnant on Health at Birth

  • Charles L. Baum

Today, many pregnant women take a brief period of time off work to give birth. This article explores the effects of pregnancy employment on health at birth. Initial results show that pregnancy employment has beneficial effects. However, these effects often become statistically insignificant when I control for earnings from pregnancy employment and when I examine women employed prior to the pregnancy and siblings in fixed effects models. I conclude that beneficial effects of pregnancy employment are due to increased family income via earnings and to unobserved heterogeneity. There is no evidence that pregnancy employment adversely affects health at birth.(JEL J1, J2, J3) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 43 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 283-302

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:43:y:2005:i:2:p:283-302
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  1. Currie, J. & Nixon, L. & Cole, N., 1995. "Restriction on Medicaid Funding of Abortion: Effects on Birth Weight and Pregnancy Resolution," Papers 95-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  2. Currie, J. & Cole, N., 1992. "Welfare and Child Health: the Link Between AFDC Participation and Birth Weight," Working papers 92-9, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. W. Frisbie & Douglas Forbes & Starling Pullum, 1996. "Compromised birth outcomes and infant mortality among racial and ethnic groups," Demography, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 469-481, November.
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  16. Sonalde Desai & P. Chase-Lansdale & Robert Michael, 1989. "Mother or Market? Effects of Maternal Employment on the Intellectual Ability of 4-Year-Old Children," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 545-561, November.
  17. Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Wealthier is healthier," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1150, The World Bank.
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