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Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and Early Child Outcomes

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  • Emma Tominey

Abstract

We estimate the harm from smoking during pregnancy upon child birth outcomes, using a rich dataset on a cohort of mothers and their births. We exploit a fixed effects approach to disentangle the correlation between smoking and birth weight from the causal effect. We find that, despite a detailed set of controls for maternal traits, around one-third of the harm from smoking is explained by unobservable traits of the mother. Smoking tends to reduce birth weight by 1.7%, but has no significant effect on the probability of having a low birth weight child, pre-term gestation or weeks of gestation. Exploring heterogeneity in the effect on birth weight, it is mothers who smoke for the 9 months of gestation that suffer the harm, whereas there is an insignificant effect for mothers who chose to quit by month 5. Additionally, there is evidence of potential complementarity in investment of human capital, as the impact on birth weight of smoking is much greater for low educated mothers, even controlling for the quantity of cigarettes they smoke. We suggest policy should target the low educated mothers, offering a more holistic approach to improving child health, as quitting smoking is only half of the battle.

Suggested Citation

  • Emma Tominey, 2007. "Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and Early Child Outcomes," CEP Discussion Papers dp0828, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0828
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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).
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    4. James Banks & Michael Marmot & Zoe Oldfield & James P. Smith, 2009. "The SES Health Gradient on Both Sides of the Atlantic," NBER Chapters,in: Developments in the Economics of Aging, pages 359-406 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. del Bono, Emilia & Ermisch, John F & Francesconi, Marco, 2008. "Intrafamily Resource Allocations: A Dynamic Model of Birth Weight," CEPR Discussion Papers 6970, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Bejenariu, Simona & Mitrut, Andreea, 2012. "Austerity Measures and Infant Health. Lessons from an Unexpected Wage Cut Policy," Working Paper Series 2012:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics, revised 10 Oct 2013.
    3. Caetano, Carolina & Rothe, Christoph & Yıldız, Neşe, 2016. "A discontinuity test for identification in triangular nonseparable models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 193(1), pages 113-122.
    4. Sonja Settele & Reyn van Ewijk, 2017. "The effect of cigarette taxes during pregnancy on educational outcomes of the next generation," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201703, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Smoking; Pregnancy; Child Health; Birth Weight;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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