IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/24802.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Violence while in Utero: The Impact of Assaults During Pregnancy on Birth Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Janet Currie
  • Michael Mueller-Smith
  • Maya Rossin-Slater

Abstract

Evidence about the effects of violent crime on victims is sparse, but is necessary to measure the social costs of crime and the cost-effectiveness of policy interventions in the justice system. We present new evidence about the effects of violent crime on pregnancy and infant health outcomes, using unique linked administrative data from New York City. We compare mothers who lived in a home where an assault was reported during their pregnancies to mothers who lived in a home where an assault took place shortly after the birth. We find that assaults during pregnancy significantly increase the incidence of negative birth outcomes. Our results are robust to the use of alternative control groups and to using maternal fixed effects models. Based on these impacts, we calculate that the social cost per assault during pregnancy is at least $36,857, implying a total annual cost of around $3.8 billion. Since infant health is a strong predictor of life-long well-being and women of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse, violence in utero is an important potential channel for intergenerational transmission of inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24802
    Note: CH HE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24802.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Until Death Do You Part: The Effects of Unilateral Divorce on Spousal Homicides," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 163-182, January.
    2. Currie, Janet & Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2013. "Weathering the storm: Hurricanes and birth outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 487-503.
    3. Gordon Dahl & Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Does Movie Violence Increase Violent Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 677-734.
    4. Amy Farmer & Jill Tiefenthaler, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Domestic Violence," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 337-358.
    5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Randi Hjalmarsson, 2009. "Juvenile Jails: A Path to the Straight and Narrow or to Hardened Criminality?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 779-809, November.
    7. David J. Deming, 2011. "Better Schools, Less Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 2063-2115.
    8. Steven D. Levitt, 1996. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 319-351.
    9. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
    10. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3529-3571 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Prashant Bharadwaj & Petter Lundborg & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2018. "Birth Weight in the Long Run," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(1), pages 189-231.
    12. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130.
    13. 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.
    14. Sanders, Nicholas J. & Stoecker, Charles, 2015. "Where have all the young men gone? Using sex ratios to measure fetal death rates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 30-45.
    15. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
    16. Amanda Agan & Sonja Starr, 2016. "Ban the Box, Criminal Records, and Statistical Discrimination: A Field Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00539, The Field Experiments Website.
    17. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
    18. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 267-288.
    19. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    20. Heaton, Paul, 2012. "Sunday liquor laws and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 42-52.
    21. Sheena McConnell & Steven Glazerman, 2001. "National Job Corps Study: The Benefits and Costs of Job Corps," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 19ff8678a108410587c5dfad0, Mathematica Policy Research.
    22. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    23. Diane Lauderdale, 2006. "Birth outcomes for Arabic-named women in California before and after September 11," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(1), pages 185-201, February.
    24. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 446-493.
    25. John R. Lott, Jr. & John Whitley, 2001. "Safe Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides and Crime," School of Economics Working Papers 2001-06, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    26. Thaler, Richard, 1978. "A note on the value of crime control: Evidence from the property market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 137-145, January.
    27. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-1859, September.
    28. Tauchen, Helen V & Witte, Ann Dryden & Long, Sharon K, 1991. "Domestic Violence: A Nonrandom Affair," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(2), pages 491-511, May.
    29. Freedman, Matthew & Owens, Emily G., 2011. "Low-income housing development and crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2-3), pages 115-131, September.
    30. John J. Donohue & Abhay Aneja & Kyle D. Weber, 2017. "Right-to-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Control Analysis," NBER Working Papers 23510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. repec:mpr:mprres:2955 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Paolo Buonanno & Steven Raphael, 2013. "Incarceration and Incapacitation: Evidence from the 2006 Italian Collective Pardon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2437-2465, October.
    33. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2011. "The Minimum Legal Drinking Age and Public Health," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(2), pages 133-156, Spring.
    34. Masi, Christopher M. & Hawkley, Louise C. & Harry Piotrowski, Z. & Pickett, Kate E., 2007. "Neighborhood economic disadvantage, violent crime, group density, and pregnancy outcomes in a diverse, urban population," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(12), pages 2440-2457, December.
    35. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:4-5:p:1214-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    36. Janet Currie & Erdal Tekin, 2012. "Understanding the Cycle: Childhood Maltreatment and Future Crime," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(2), pages 509-549.
    37. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:4-5:p:1256-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    38. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2015. "Welfare costs of crime and common violence," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 42(1), pages 117-137, January.
    39. Petra Persson & Maya Rossin-Slater, 2018. "Family Ruptures, Stress, and the Mental Health of the Next Generation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(4-5), pages 1214-1252, April.
    40. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0639-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    41. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    42. Leigh Linden & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values from Megan's Laws," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1103-1127, June.
    43. Adriana Camacho, 2008. "Stress and Birth Weight: Evidence from Terrorist Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 511-515, May.
    44. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
    45. Lott, John R, Jr & Whitley, John E, 2001. "Safe-Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 659-689, October.
    46. Clive R Belfield & Milagros Nores & Steve Barnett & Lawrence Schweinhart, 2006. "The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program: Cost–Benefit Analysis Using Data from the Age-40 Followup," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
    47. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2016. "Does Grief Transfer across Generations? Bereavements during Pregnancy and Child Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 193-223, January.
    48. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:2:p:201-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    49. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2013.301680_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    50. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
    51. Philip J. Cook & John MacDonald, 2011. "Public Safety through Private Action: an Economic Assessment of BIDS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 445-462, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rawlings, Samantha & Siddique, Zahra, 2018. "Domestic Violence and Child Mortality," IZA Discussion Papers 11899, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Bindler, Anna & Ketel, Nadine, 2019. "Scaring or scarring? Labour market effects of criminal victimisation," Working Papers in Economics 749, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Siddique, Zahra, 2018. "Violence and Female Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 11874, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24802. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.