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Maternal Depression and the Production of Infant Health

Author

Listed:
  • Karen Smith Conway

    () (University of New Hampshire)

  • Lisa DeFelice Kennedy

    (Bachrodt Academy, San Jose Unified School District)

Abstract

Depression is most prevalent among women of childbearing age and among low-income women, and the medical literature shows it to have adverse effects on infant health. Yet maternal depression has been overlooked in economic studies of infant health production. This research incorporates maternal depressive symptoms into a standard infant health production model and estimates both structural and reduced-form birth weight equations using samples of non-Hispanic white and black women from the National Maternal and Infant Health Survey. A byproduct of this research is an empirical investigation into factors associated with maternal depressive symptoms. All results show that depressive symptoms have a negative effect on birth weight and that they may operate through several channels such as smoking and prenatal care.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Smith Conway & Lisa DeFelice Kennedy, 2004. "Maternal Depression and the Production of Infant Health," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 260-286, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:71:2:y:2004:p:260-286
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Conway, Karen Smith & Deb, Partha, 2005. "Is prenatal care really ineffective? Or, is the 'devil' in the distribution?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 489-513, May.
    2. Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave, 2007. "Prenatal drug use and the production of infant health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 361-384.
    3. Hope Corman & Dhaval M. Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2017. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," NBER Working Papers 24131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Joan Costa-Font & Joan Gil, 2008. "Would Socio-Economic Inequalities in Depression Fade Away with Income Transfers?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 539-558, December.
    5. Nastis, Stefanos A. & Crocker, Thomas D., 2012. "Valuing mother and child health: The intrauterine environment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 318-328.
    6. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2006. "Typically Unobserved Variables (TUVs) and Selection into Prenatal Inputs: Implications for Estimating Infant Health Production Functions," NBER Working Papers 12004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2009. "Infant health production functions: what a difference the data make," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 761-782.
    8. Gunes, Pinar & Tsaneva, Magda, 2016. "The Effects of Early Pregnancy on Education, Physical Health and Mental Distress: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2016-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    9. Karen Smith Conway & Andrea Kutinova, 2006. "Maternal health: does prenatal care make a difference?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 461-488.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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