Self-Selection, Prenatal Care, and Birthweight Among Blacks, Whites and Hispanics in New York City
Most research on birth outcomes has found a direct relationship between appropriate prenatal care and increased birthweight. Researchers concede, however, that without a randomized design, which is clearly unethical, one cannot determine how much of the association is due to the medical intervention and how much is due to the characteristics of the women receiving the care. In short, the degree of selection bias is unknown and potentially substantial. In this paper we test for selection bias and estimate its direction and magnitude. We find that adjusted mean differences in birthweight between women who obtain intermediate as opposed to inadequate prenatal care substantially underestimate the effects of care that would be observed under random assignment. In particular, ordinary least squares estimates indicate that the gains to intermediate care are 113 grams for black infants, 76 grams for white infants and 92 grams for Hispanic infants. Under random assignment, black infants would experience gains of 130 grams, whites 234 grams, and Hispanics 183 grams. The gains for adequate as opposed to intermediate care are relatively minor. The results point to adverse selection in the demand for prenatal care.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1990|
|Publication status:||published as Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 29, no. 3, Summer 1994, pp. 762-794|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Newey, Whitney K & Powell, James L & Walker, James R, 1990.
"Semiparametric Estimation of Selection Models: Some Empirical Results,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 324-328, May.
- Newey, W.K. & Powell, J.L. & Walker, J.R., 1990. "Semiparametric Estimation Of Selection Models: Some Empirical Results," Working papers 9001, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1982. "The Behavior of Mothers as Inputs to Child Health: The Determinants of Birth Weight, Gestation, and Rate of Fetal Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 53-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1987. "Birth Outcome Production Function in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 339-360.
- Jeffrey E. Harris, 1982. "Prenatal Medical Care and Infant Mortality," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 13-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, December.
- Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
- Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-161, January.
- Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1985. "Birth Outcome Production Functions in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-799, July.
- Thomas Mroz, "undated". "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-8, Chicago - Population Research Center.