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

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  • Theodore Joyce

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore Joyce, 1994. "Self-Selection, Prenatal Care, and Birthweight among Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics in New York City," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 762-794.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:29:y:1994:iii:1:p:762-794
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Newey, Whitney K & Powell, James L & Walker, James R, 1990. "Semiparametric Estimation of Selection Models: Some Empirical Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 324-328.
    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. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1983:73:10:1154-1156_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    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. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", pages 129-137.
    8. 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.
    9. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-799, July.
    10. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1979:69:7:653-660_0 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaestner, Robert & Joyce, Theodore & Wehbeh, Hassan, 1996. "The Effect of Maternal Drug Use on Birth Weight: Measurement Error in Binary Variables," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(4), pages 617-629, October.
    2. Habibov, Nazim N. & Fan, Lida, 2011. "Does prenatal healthcare improve child birthweight outcomes in Azerbaijan? Results of the national Demographic and Health Survey," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 56-65.
    3. Jason G. Cummins & Ingmar Nyman, 2005. "The Dark Side of Competitive Pressure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 361-397, Summer.
    4. Hope Corman & Dhaval M. Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2017. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," Working Papers id:12331, eSocialSciences.
    5. Michael Grossman, 1999. "The Human Capital Model of the Demand for Health," NBER Working Papers 7078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ellen Meara, 2001. "Why is Health Related to Socioeconomic Status?," NBER Working Papers 8231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. O'Neill June E & O'Neill Dave M, 2008. "Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-45, April.
    8. George L. Wehby & Jeffrey C. Murray & Eduardo E. Castilla & Jorge S. Lopez-Camelo & Robert L. Ohsfeldt, 2009. "Quantile effects of prenatal care utilization on birth weight in Argentina," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1307-1321.
    9. Nastis, Stefanos A. & Crocker, Thomas D., 2012. "Valuing mother and child health: The intrauterine environment," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 318-328.
    10. Cesur Resul & Kelly Inas Rashad, 2010. "From Cradle to Classroom: High Birth Weight and Cognitive Outcomes," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1-26, March.
    11. Evans, William N. & Lien, Diana S., 2005. "The benefits of prenatal care: evidence from the PAT bus strike," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 207-239.
    12. Adjiwanou, Vissého & LeGrand, Thomas, 2013. "Does antenatal care matter in the use of skilled birth attendance in rural Africa: A multi-country analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 26-34.
    13. Resul Cesur & Inas Rashad, 2008. "High Birth Weight and Cognitive Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 14524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Michele Ploeg, 2009. "Do Benefits of U.S. Food Assistance Programs for Children Spillover to Older Children in the Same Household?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 412-427, December.
    16. Wehby, George L. & Murray, Jeffrey C. & Castilla, Eduardo E. & Lopez-Camelo, Jorge S. & Ohsfeldt, Robert L., 2009. "Prenatal care demand and its effects on birth outcomes by birth defect status in Argentina," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 84-95.
    17. Hope Corman & Dhaval M. Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2017. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," Working Papers id:12331, eSocialSciences.

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