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The Effect of Maternal Drug Use on Birth Weight: Measurement Error in Binary Variables

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Kaestner
  • Theodore Joyce
  • Hassan Wehbeh

Abstract

This paper develops a method to correct for non-random measurement error in a binary indicator of illicit drugs. Our results suggest that estimates of the effect of self reported prenatal drug use on birth weight are biased upwards by measurement error -- a finding contrary to predictions of a model of random measurement error. We show that more accurate estimates of the true effect of drug use on birth weight can be obtained by using the predicted probability of falsely reporting drug use. This suggests that out-of-sample information on drug use may improve estimates of the effect of reported drug use in other settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Kaestner & Theodore Joyce & Hassan Wehbeh, 1996. "The Effect of Maternal Drug Use on Birth Weight: Measurement Error in Binary Variables," NBER Working Papers 5434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5434
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
    2. Brownstone, David, 1991. "Multiple Imputations for Linear Regression Models," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5rv0265r, University of California Transportation Center.
    3. Theodore Joyce, 1994. "Self-Selection, Prenatal Care, and Birthweight among Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics in New York City," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 762-794.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1990:80:6:682-684_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Grossman, Michael & Joyce, Theodore J, 1990. "Unobservables, Pregnancy Resolutions, and Birth Weight Production Functions in New York City," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 983-1007, October.
    6. Theodore Joyce & Andrew D. Racine & Sandra McCalla & Hassan Wehbeh, 1994. "The Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine on Newborn Costs and Length of Stay," NBER Working Papers 4673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Theodore Joyce & Andrew D. Racine & Naci Mocan, 1992. "The Consequences and Costs of Maternal Substance Abuse in New York City," NBER Working Papers 3987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1993:83:2:190-193_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Levi, Maurice D, 1973. "Errors in the Variables Bias in the Presence of Correctly Measured Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 985-986, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joyce, Theodore, 1999. "Impact of augmented prenatal care on birth outcomes of Medicaid recipients in New York City," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 31-67, January.
    2. Per-Anders Edin & Magnus Gustavsson, 2008. "Time Out of Work and Skill Depreciation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(2), pages 163-180, January.
    3. Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave, 2007. "Prenatal drug use and the production of infant health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 361-384.
    4. Hope Corman & Dhaval M. Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2017. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," NBER Working Papers 24131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. O'Neill June E & O'Neill Dave M, 2008. "Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-45, April.
    6. Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Dhaval Dave, 2004. "Demand for Illicit Drugs by Pregnant Women," NBER Working Papers 10688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2006. "Typically Unobserved Variables (TUVs) and Selection into Prenatal Inputs: Implications for Estimating Infant Health Production Functions," NBER Working Papers 12004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Nancy E. Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Dhaval Dave, 2009. "Infant health production functions: what a difference the data make," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 761-782.

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    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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