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Birth Weight in the Long-Run

Author

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  • Bharadwaj, Prashant

    (University of California, San Diego)

  • Lundborg, Petter

    (Lund University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    (Stockholm University)

Abstract

We study the effect of birth weight on long-run outcomes, including permanent income, income across various stages of the lifecycle, education, social benefits take-up, and adult mortality. For this purpose, we have linked a unique dataset on nearly all Swedish twins born between 1926-1958, containing information on birth weight, to administrative records spanning nearly entire life time labor market histories. We find that birth weight positively affects permanent income and income across large parts of the life cycle, although there is some evidence of a fade out after age 50. Our results indicate that lower birth weight children are more likely to avail of social insurance programs such as unemployment and sickness insurance and that birth weight matters for adult mortality. We supplement our main analysis with more recent data, which enables us to study how the impact of birth weight on income and education of young adults has changed across cohorts born almost 50 years apart.

Suggested Citation

  • Bharadwaj, Prashant & Lundborg, Petter & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2015. "Birth Weight in the Long-Run," IZA Discussion Papers 9175, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9175
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    3. Maruyama, Shiko & Heinesen, Eskil, 2020. "Another look at returns to birthweight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    4. Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Sievertsen, Hans Henrik, 2020. "Neonatal health of parents and cognitive development of children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    5. Wojciech Gryzbowski & Aleksandra Adamicz & Hanna Wysocki, 2021. "The Social Externality of Health Insurance: Evidence from Unemployment Insurance Generosity and Children Mortality," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 2, pages 262-279, July.
    6. Kamble, Vaibhav, 2021. "Health Returns to Birth Weight: Evidence from Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 105150, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Anders Björklund & Lina Aldén & Mats Hammarstedt, 2017. "Early Health and School Outcomes for Children with Lesbian Parents: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 2017-033, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    8. Gabriella Conti & Giacomo Mason & Stavros Poupakis, 2019. "Developmental Origins of Health Inequality," Working Papers 2019-041, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    9. Møllegaard, Stine, 2020. "The effect of birth weight on behavioral problems in early adolescence: New evidence from monozygotic twins," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C).
    10. Bharadwaj, Prashant & Lundborg, Petter & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2015. "Health and Unemployment during Macroeconomic Crises," IZA Discussion Papers 9174, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Giuntella, Osea & La Mattina, Giulia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2019. "Intergenerational Transmission of Health at Birth from Mothers and Fathers," IZA Discussion Papers 12105, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Janet Currie & Michael Mueller-Smith & Maya Rossin-Slater, 2018. "Violence while in Utero: The Impact of Assaults During Pregnancy on Birth Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 24802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Tamás Hajdu & Gábor Hajdu, 2020. "Temperature, climate change and birth weight: Evidence from Hungary," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2032, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    14. Zhang, Xin & Wang, Yixuan & Chen, Xi & Zhang, Xun, 2019. "Prenatal Sunshine Exposure and Birth Outcomes in China," IZA Discussion Papers 12877, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Gabriella Conti & Mark Hanson & Hazel M. Inskip & Sarah Crozier & Cyrus Cooper & Keith Godfrey, 2018. "Beyond birth weight: the origins of human capital," IFS Working Papers W18/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    16. Viviane Sanfelice, 2020. "Mosquito-Borne Disease and Newborn Health," DETU Working Papers 2001, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    17. Monica Harber Carney, 2021. "The impact of mental health parity laws on birth outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(4), pages 748-765, April.
    18. Ji Yan, 2017. "Healthy Babies: Does Prenatal Care Really Matter?," Working Papers 17-09, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    19. Carsten Andersen, 2021. "Intergenerational health mobility: Evidence from Danish registers," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(12), pages 3186-3202, December.
    20. Mark E. McGovern, 2016. "Progress and the Lack of Progress in Addressing Infant Health and Infant Health Inequalities in Ireland during the 20th Century," Economics Working Papers 16-05, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast.
    21. Jonas Helgertz & Anton Nilsson, 2019. "The effect of birth weight on hospitalizations and sickness absences: a longitudinal study of Swedish siblings," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 153-178, January.
    22. Bharadwaj, Prashant & Bietenbeck, Jan & Lundborg, Petter & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2019. "Birth weight and vulnerability to a macroeconomic crisis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 136-144.
    23. Rakesh Banerjee & Tushar Bharati, 2020. "Mass shootings and Infant Health in the United States," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 20-16, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment sickness absence; permanent income; early life; birth weight; life-cycle; mortality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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