Impact of Income Maintenance on Low Birth Weight: Evidence from the Gary Experiment
Birth weight is a useful index of infant health. Low birth weight (5.5 pounds or less) is associated with high rates of infant mortality and morbidity. Low birth weight is also associated with low socioeconomic status. The question arises, therefore, whether income transfers can affect the incidence of low birth weight among the poor. The impact of an expanded income support plan on low birth weight was analyzed using data on 404 infants born to participants in the Gary Income Maintenance Experiment. A significant health response was observed for children of women who face high-risk pregnancies.