The Effects of Unemployment on Childbearing
Are recessions good for pregnancy? In this paper, I investigate the relationship between unemployment fluctuations, prenatal care utilization, and infant and maternal health. Analyzing the US Natality Detail Files data for the period 1989-99 aggregated by county, year, and race, I find the overall effects of unemployment to be beneficial but conclude that at least some of the apparent benefits may be attributable to the Medicaid 'safety net'.
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