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Selection and the effect of prenatal smoking

  • Angela R. Fertig

    (Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA)

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    There is a debate about the extent to which the effect of prenatal smoking on infant health outcomes is causal. Poor outcomes could be attributable to mother characteristics, which are correlated with smoking. I examine the importance of selection on the effect of prenatal smoking by using three British cohorts where the mothers' knowledge about the harms of prenatal smoking varied substantially. I find that the effect of smoking on the probability of a low birth weight birth conditional on gestation is slightly more than twice as large in 2000 compared with 1958, implying that selection could explain as much as 50% of the current association between smoking and birth outcomes. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1469
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 209-226

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:2:p:209-226
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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    1. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
    2. Evans, William N. & Ringel, Jeanne S., 1999. "Can higher cigarette taxes improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 135-154, April.
    3. Diana S. Lien & William N. Evans, 2005. "Estimating the Impact of Large Cigarette Tax Hikes: The Case of Maternal Smoking and Infant Birth Weight," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
    4. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1991. "Inequality at birth : The scope for policy intervention," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 205-228, October.
    5. Jérôme Adda & Francesca Cornaglia, 2006. "Taxes, Cigarette Consumption, and Smoking Intensity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
    6. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2009. "Infant health production functions: what a difference the data make," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 761-782.
    7. Jason Abrevaya, 2006. "Estimating the effect of smoking on birth outcomes using a matched panel data approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 489-519.
    8. Ellen Meara, 2001. "Why is Health Related to Socioeconomic Status?," NBER Working Papers 8231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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