Poverty, Violence, and Health: The Impact of Domestic Violence During Pregnancy on Newborn Health
Two percent of women in the United States suffer from intimate partner violence annually, with poor and minority women disproportionately affected. I provide evidence of an important negative externality associated with domestic violence by estimating a negative and causal relationship between violence during pregnancy and newborn health, exploiting variation in the enforcement of laws against domestic violence for identification. I find that hospitalization for an assault while pregnant reduces birth weight by 163 grams. This sheds new light on the infant health production process as well as observed income gradients in health given that poor mothers are disproportionately affected by violence.
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