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Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function

Author

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  • Hope Corman
  • Dhaval Dave
  • Nancy E. Reichman

Abstract

Michael Grossman's seminal publication on the demand for health and health production (Grossman 1972) has spawned a substantial body of research focusing on the production of infant health. This article provides a systematic review of the published literature to date on infant health production and how it has evolved over the past 3–4 decades as data have become more available, computing has improved, and econometric methods have become more sophisticated. While empirical research in most fields has expanded in corresponding ways, the infant health production research has become an important part of the broader and inherently multidisciplinary literature on intergenerational health. The strongest and most robust findings are that policies matter for infant health, particularly those affecting access to health care, and that prenatal smoking and other chemical exposures substantially compromise infant health. Promising directions for future research include elucidating relevant pathways, reconciling the largely inconsistent estimated effects of nutrition and education, and exploring the roles of preconceptional and lifetime health care, paternal factors, social support, housing, complementarity and substitutability of inputs, factors that modify effects of inputs, and evolving medical technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2018. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(1), pages 6-47, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:soecon:v:85:y:2018:i:1:p:6-47
    DOI: 10.1002/soej.12279
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    2. Dhaval M. Dave & Muzhe Yang, 2022. "Maternal and fetal health effects of working during pregnancy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 57-102, March.
    3. Dhaval M. Dave & Muzhe Yang, 2019. "Maternal and Fetal Health Effects of Working during Pregnancy," NBER Working Papers 26343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Issidor Noumba & Quentin Lebrun Nzouessah Feunke, 2020. "Parental Education, Household Health, and Household Standard of Living: Evidence from Rural Cameroon," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 13(7), pages 113-113, July.
    5. Ma Yuan & Cao Yue-qun & Wang Hao & Xiang Hong, 2022. "Does Social Capital Promote Health?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 162(2), pages 501-524, July.
    6. Böckerman, Petri & Conlin, Andrew & Svento, Rauli, 2021. "Early health, risk aversion and stock market participation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C).
    7. Jaakko Pehkonen & Jutta Viinikainen & Jaana T. Kari & Petri Böckerman & Terho Lehtimäki & Olli Raitakari, 2021. "Birth weight and adult income: An examination of mediation through adult height and body mass," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(10), pages 2383-2398, September.

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