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As Low Birth Weight Babies Grow, Can 'Good' Parents Buffer this Adverse Factor? A Research Note

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  • Ming-Jen Lin
  • Jin-Tan Liu
  • Shin-Yi Chou

Abstract

This research note combines two national Taiwanese datasets to investigate the relationship between low birth weight (LBW) babies, their family background and their future academic outcomes. We find that LBW is negatively correlated with the probability of such children attending university at the age of 18; however, when both parents are college or senior high school graduates, such negative effects may be partially offset. We also show that discrimination against daughters does occur, but only in those cases where the daughters were LBW babies. Moreover, high parental education (HPE) can only buffer the LBW shock among moderately-LBW children (as compared to very-LBW children) and full term-LBW children (as compared to preterm-LBW children).

Suggested Citation

  • Ming-Jen Lin & Jin-Tan Liu & Shin-Yi Chou, 2007. "As Low Birth Weight Babies Grow, Can 'Good' Parents Buffer this Adverse Factor? A Research Note," NBER Working Papers 12857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12857
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jason Boardman & Daniel Powers & Yolanda Padilla & Robert Hummer, 2002. "Low birth weight, social factors, and developmental outcomes among children in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 353-368, May.
    3. Dorothe Bonjour & Lynn F. Cherkas & Jonathan E. Haskel & Denise D. Hawkes & Tim D. Spector, 2003. "Returns to Education: Evidence from U.K. Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1799-1812, December.
    4. Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
    5. William L. Parish & Robert J. Willis, 1993. "Daughters, Education, and Family Budgets Taiwan Experiences," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 863-898.
    6. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
    7. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Lin, Ming-Jen & Liu, Jin-Tan, 2009. "Do lower birth weight babies have lower grades? Twin fixed effect and instrumental variable method evidence from Taiwan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 1780-1787, May.
    2. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
    3. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2011. "The Effect of Prenatal Stress on Birth Weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," IZA Discussion Papers 5535, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Brian Beach & Martin Saavedra, 2015. "Mitigating the Effects of Low Birth Weight: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Adoptees," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 1(3), pages 275-296, Summer.
    5. Lea Gimenez & Shin-Yi Chou & Jin-Tan Liu & Jin-Long Liu, 2013. "Parental Loss and Children’s Well-Being," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(4), pages 1035-1071.
    6. Brandon J. Restrepo, 2016. "Parental investment responses to a low birth weight outcome: who compensates and who reinforces?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 969-989, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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