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Quantile effects of prenatal care utilization on birth weight in Argentina

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  • George L. Wehby
  • Jeffrey C. Murray
  • Eduardo E. Castilla
  • Jorge S. Lopez‐Camelo
  • Robert L. Ohsfeldt

Abstract

The effects of prenatal care utilization on birth weight (BW) may vary by unobserved fetal health endowments. This heterogeneity will be masked by estimating the effects at BW mean but can be evaluated by estimating the effects at BW quantiles as fetal health endowment is a strong correlate with the BW quantile order. We estimated the effects of prenatal care visits and delay before prenatal care initiation, on BW mean and quantiles using a sample of infants from Argentina. Self‐selection into prenatal care was modeled using 2SLS and instrumental variable quantile regression. Results suggest that the ‘mean’ effect of prenatal care utilization largely underestimates the effects at lower BW quantiles. About 35 and 77 g increase in BW mean and 0.1 quantile respectively, per visit and about 30 and 139 g decrease in BW mean and 0.1 quantile respectively, per week delayed, were estimated. Ignoring self‐selection into prenatal care resulted in underestimation of mean and quantile effects. Results highlight the limitation of analyses focused on ‘mean effects’ in the presence of treatment heterogeneity and emphasize the importance of identifying women at risk for having infants at lower BW quantiles as they may benefit most from earlier and more intensive prenatal care. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:11:p:1307-1321
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1431
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    Cited by:

    1. Ana I. Balsa & Patricia Triunfo, 2012. "The Effectiveness of Prenatal Care in a Low Income Population: A Panel Data Approach," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1204, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
    2. Wolfgang Frimmel & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2014. "Birth Weight And Family Status Revisited: Evidence From Austrian Register Data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 426-445, April.
    3. Wehby, George L. & Courtemanche, Charles J., 2012. "The heterogeneity of the cigarette price effect on body mass index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 719-729.
    4. Wehby, George L. & Murray, Jeffrey C. & Wilcox, Allen & Lie, Rolv T., 2012. "Smoking and body weight: Evidence using genetic instruments," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 113-126.
    5. Santosh Kumar & Fidel Gonzalez, 2020. "The Quantile effects of prenatal care on birth weight in Mexico," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(2), pages 1498-1507.
    6. Santosh Kumar & Fidel Gonzalez, 2018. "Effects of health insurance on birth weight in Mexico," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(8), pages 1149-1159, August.
    7. Balestra, Simone & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2017. "Heterogeneous returns to education over the wage distribution: Who profits the most?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 89-105.
    8. Machio Phyllis Mumia, 2017. "Determinants of Neonatal and Under-five Mortality in Kenya: Do Antenatal and Skilled Delivery Care Services Matter?," Working Papers 340, African Economic Research Consortium, Research Department.
    9. Wehby, George L. & Castilla, Eduardo E. & Lopez-Camelo, Jorge, 2010. "The impact of altitude on infant health in South America," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 197-211, July.
    10. George L. Wehby & Kwame A. Nyarko & Jorge S. Lopez‐Camelo, 2014. "Fetal Health Shocks And Early Inequalities In Health Capital Accumulation," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 69-92, January.
    11. Ryan Brown, 2018. "The Mexican Drug War and Early-Life Health: The Impact of Violent Crime on Birth Outcomes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(1), pages 319-340, February.
    12. Le, Kien & Nguyen, My, 2020. "Armed conflict and birth weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C).
    13. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
    14. Hajdu, Tamás & Hajdu, Gábor, 2018. "Smoking ban and health at birth: Evidence from Hungary," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 37-47.
    15. Sanglestsawai, Santi & Rejesus, Roderick M. & Yorobe, Jose M., 2014. "Do lower yielding farmers benefit from Bt corn? Evidence from instrumental variable quantile regressions," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 285-296.
    16. Ana Inés Balsa & Patricia Triunfo, 2012. "¿Son los cuidados prenatales efectivos? Un enfoque con datos individuales de panel," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0612, Department of Economics - dECON.
    17. Lautharte, Ildo, 2021. "Babies and Bandidos: Birth outcomes in pacified favelas of Rio de Janeiro," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    18. Maksym Obrizan & George L. Wehby, 2012. "Health Expenditures And Life Expectancy Around The World: A Quantile Regression Approach," Discussion Papers 47, Kyiv School of Economics.

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