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Fear itself: The effects of distressing economic news on birth outcomes

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  • Carlson, Kyle

Abstract

I use new administrative data on mass layoffs and plant closings to study the effects of distressing economic news. Exposure to stressful events during pregnancy can impair fetal development. I find that announcement of impending job losses leads to a transient decrease in the mean birth weight within the firm’s county 1–4 months before the job losses. A loss of 500 jobs corresponds roughly to a decrease of 15–20 grams and 16 percent greater risk of low birth weight. Further analyses show that the initial effect results from curtailment of gestation, while slower intrauterine growth plays a later role.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlson, Kyle, 2014. "Fear itself: The effects of distressing economic news on birth outcomes," MPRA Paper 56560, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56560
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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2018. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1360-1446, December.
    2. Ezra Golberstein & Gilbert Gonzales & Ellen Meara, 2016. "Economic Conditions and Children's Mental Health," NBER Working Papers 22459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Suziedelyte, Agne, 2017. "World Commodity Prices, Job Security and Health: Evidence from the Mining Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 11251, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Dagnelie, Olivier & Luca, Giacomo Davide De & Maystadt, Jean-François, 2018. "Violence, selection and infant mortality in Congo," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 153-177.
    5. Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave & Nancy E. Reichman, 2018. "Evolution of the Infant Health Production Function," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 85(1), pages 6-47, July.
    6. Bubonya, Melisa & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Christensen, Daniel & Johnson, Sarah E. & Zubrick, Stephen R., 2018. "The Great Recession and Children's Mental Health in Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 11891, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Ball, Alastair, 2014. "Air pollution, foetal mortality, and long-term health: Evidence from the Great London Smog," MPRA Paper 63229, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Mar 2015.
    8. Sandner, Malte & Cornelissen, Thomas & Jungmann, Tanja & Herrmann, Peggy, 2018. "Evaluating the effects of a targeted home visiting program on maternal and child health outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 269-283.
    9. Mulmi, Prajula & Block, Steven A. & Shively, Gerald E. & Masters, William A., 2016. "Climatic conditions and child height: Sex-specific vulnerability and the protective effects of sanitation and food markets in Nepal," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 63-75.
    10. Kim, Bongkyun & Carruthers, Celeste K. & Harris, Matthew C., 2017. "Maternal stress and birth outcomes: Evidence from the 1994 Northridge earthquake," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 354-373.
    11. Terhi Maczulskij & Petri Böckerman, 2019. "Harsh times: do stressors lead to labor market losses?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 20(3), pages 357-373, April.
    12. Alastair Ball, 2018. "The Long-Term Economic Costs of the Great London Smog," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1814, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    13. Nadine Geiger & Sebastian Wichert, 2019. "Birth in times of war - An investigation of health, mortality and social class using historical clinical records," CESifo Working Paper Series 7593, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; birth weight; gestation; layoffs; warn; stress; prenatal;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies

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