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Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight

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  • Janet Currie
  • Rosemary Hyson

Abstract

This paper examines the long-term effects of low birthweight (LBW) on educational attainments, labor market outcomes, and health status using data from the National Child Development Study. The study has followed the cohort of children born in Great Britain during one week in 1958 through age 33. We pay particular attentionto possible interactions between LBS and socio-economic status (SES), asking to what extent the deleterious effects of LBW are mitigated by higher SES. We find that LBW has significant long-term effects on self-reported health status, educational attainments, and labor market outcomes. However, there is little evidence of variation in the effects of LBW by SES. An important exception is that high SES women of LBW are less likely to report that they are in poor or fair health than other LBW women.

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  • Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," NBER Working Papers 6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6999
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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. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
    3. Meghir, Costas & Whitehouse, Edward, 1996. "The Evolution of Wages in the United Kingdom: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, January.
    4. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 6943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
    6. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    7. Hertzman, C. & Wiens, M., 1996. "Child development and long-term outcomes: A population health perspective and summary of successful interventions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1083-1095, October.
    8. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "Are There Increasing Returns to the Intergenerational Production of Human Capital? Maternal Schooling and Child Intellectual Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 670-693.
    9. Connolly, Sara & Micklewright, John & Nickell, Stephen, 1992. "The Occupational Success of Young Men Who Left School at Sixteen," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 460-479, July.
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    JEL classification:

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

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