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The Impact of Scheduling Birth Early on Infant Health

Author

Listed:
  • Cristina Borra
  • Libertad González
  • Almudena Sevilla

Abstract

We take advantage of a unique natural experiment to provide new, credible evidence on the health consequences of scheduling birth early for non-medical reasons. In May 2010, the Spanish government announced that a €2,500 universal “baby bonus” would stop being paid to babies born after December 31, 2010. Using administrative data from birth certificates and hospital records, we find that about 2,000 families shifted their date of birth from January 2011 to December 2010 (out of 9,000 weekly births). The affected babies, born about one week early on average, weighed about 200 g less at birth, and suffered a sizeable increase in hospitalization rates in the first two months of life, mostly for respiratory disease.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Borra & Libertad González & Almudena Sevilla, 2019. "The Impact of Scheduling Birth Early on Infant Health," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 30-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:17:y:2019:i:1:p:30-78.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeea/jvx060
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. #HEJC papers for September 2013
      by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-09-01 04:01:38

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Libertad González & Sofia Trommlerová, 2020. "Cash Transfers and Fertility: How the Introduction and Cancellation of a Child Benefit Affected Births and Abortions," Working Papers 1153, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Moberg, Ylva, 2019. "Speedy responses: Effects of higher benefits on take-up and division of parental leave," Working Paper Series 2019:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Martin Halla & Chia-Lun Liu & Jin-Tan Liu, 2019. "The Effect of Superstition on Health: Evidence from the Taiwanese Ghost Month," Economics working papers 2019-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Cristina Borra & Libertad González & Almudena Sevilla, 2016. "Birth Timing and Neonatal Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 329-332, May.
    5. Huang, Cheng & Zhang, Shiying & Zhao, Qingguo & Lin, Yan, 2021. "Dragon year superstition, birth timing, and neonatal health outcomes," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    6. Berniell, Inés & Estrada, Ricardo, 2020. "Poor little children: The socioeconomic gap in parental responses to school disadvantage," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    7. Hendrik Jürges, 2017. "Financial incentives, timing of births, and infant health: a closer look into the delivery room," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(2), pages 195-208, March.
    8. de Elejalde, Ramiro & Giolito, Eugenio, 2021. "A demand-smoothing incentive for cesarean deliveries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    9. Kamila Cygan-Rehm & Krzysztof Karbownik, 2020. "The Effects of Incentivizing Early Prenatal Care on Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 28116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Moberg, Ylva, 2018. "Speedy Responses: Effects of Higher Benefits on Take-up and Division of Parental Leave," Working Paper Series 2018:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    11. Philippe Wingender & Sara LaLumia, 2015. "Income Effects in Labor Supply: Evidence from Child-Related Tax Benefits," Department of Economics Working Papers 2015-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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