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The Impact of Scheduling Birth Early on Infant Health

Author

Listed:
  • Cristina Borra
  • Libertad González
  • Almudena Sevilla-Sanz

Abstract

We take advantage of a unique natural experiment to provide new, credible evidence on the health consequences of scheduling birth early for non-medical reasons.In May 2010, the Spanish government announced that a €2,500 universal “baby bonus” would stop being paid to babies born after December31st, 2010. Using administrative data from birth certificates and hospital records, we find that about 2,000 families shifted their date of birth from January 2011 to December 2010 (outof 9,000 weekly births). The affected babies, born about one week early on average, weighed about 200 grams less at birth, and suffered a sizeable increase in hospitalization rates in the first two months of life, mostly for respiratory disease.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Borra & Libertad González & Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, 2015. "The Impact of Scheduling Birth Early on Infant Health," Working Papers 707, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:707
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    File URL: http://www.barcelonagse.eu/sites/default/files/working_paper_pdfs/707.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Lemke, Robert J. & Scholz, John Karl, 2004. "Do estate and gift taxes affect the timing of private transfers?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2617-2634, December.
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    3. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439.
    4. Beatrice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2011. "Financial incentives, the timing of births, birth complications, and newborns' health: Evidence from the abolition of Austria's baby bonus," ECON - Working Papers 048, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Randolph, William C, 1995. "Dynamic Income, Progressive Taxes, and the Timing of Charitable Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 709-738, August.
    6. Michael Neugart & Henry Ohlsson, 2013. "Economic incentives and the timing of births: evidence from the German parental benefit reform of 2007," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 87-108, January.
    7. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Deding, Mette & Lausten, Mette, 2010. "Medium-term consequences of low birth weight on health and behavioral deficits – is there a catch-up effect?," Working Papers 10-3, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1997. "Income taxes and the timing of marital decisions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 219-240, May.
    9. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. #HEJC papers for September 2013
      by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-09-01 04:01:38

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Inés Berniell & Ricardo Estrada, 2017. "Poor Little Children: The Socio economic Gap in Parental Responses to School Disadvantage," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0219, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    2. Hendrik Jürges, 2017. "Financial incentives, timing of births, and infant health: a closer look into the delivery room," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 18(2), pages 195-208, March.
    3. Philippe Wingender & Sara LaLumia, 2015. "Income Effects in Labor Supply: Evidence from Child-Related Tax Benefits," Department of Economics Working Papers 2015-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    4. Cristina Borra & Libertad González & Almudena Sevilla, 2016. "Birth Timing and Neonatal Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 329-332, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Policy evaluation; Child benefit; baby bonus; infant health; fertility; birthweight;

    JEL classification:

    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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