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Self-Selection, Prenatal Care, and Birthweight among Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics in New York City

  • Theodore Joyce

The paper tests whether the impact of prenatal care on birthweight is contaminated by selection bias, and if so, whether adverse or favorable selection dominates. A two-stage selectivity correction model with an ordered criterion function is applied to race- and ethnic-specific data from 1984 New York City birth certificates. We find that ordinary least squares underestimates the effects of prenatal care on birthweight by at least 80 percent for whites and Hispanics. The results point to adverse selection in the demand for prenatal care.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 29 (1994)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 762-794

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:29:y:1994:iii:1:p:762-794
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1985. "Birth Outcome Production Functions in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1982. "The Behavior of Mothers as Inputs to Child Health: The Determinants of Birth Weight, Gestation, and Rate of Fetal Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 53-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Thomas Mroz, . "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  4. Newey, W.K. & Powell, J.L. & Walker, J.R., 1990. "Semiparametric Estimation Of Selection Models: Some Empirical Results," Working papers 9001, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  6. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1.
  7. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1987. "Birth Outcome Production Function in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 339-360.
  8. Jeffrey E. Harris, 1982. "Prenatal Medical Care and Infant Mortality," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 13-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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