IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ucn/wpaper/201125.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Still unequal at birth - birth weight, socioeconomic status and outcomes at age 9

Author

Listed:
  • Mark McGovern

Abstract

Birth weight is an important aspect of public health which has been linked to increased risk of infant death, increased cost of care, and a range of later life outcomes. Using data from a new Irish cohort study, I document the relationship between birth weight and socioeconomic status. A strong association with maternal education does not appear to be due to the timing of birth or complications during pregnancy, even controlling for a wide range of background characteristics. However, results do suggest intergenerational persistence in the transmission of poor early life conditions. A comparison with the UK Millennium Cohort Study reveals similar social gradients in both countries. Birth weight predicts a number of outcomes at age 9, including test scores, hospital stays and health. An advantage of the data is that I am able to control for a number of typically unmeasured variables. I determine whether parental investments as measured by the quality of interaction with the child, parenting style, or school quality mediate the association between birth weight and later indicators. For test scores, there is evidence of non-linearity. Boys are more adversely affected than girls, and I find that the effects of low birth weight (

Suggested Citation

  • Mark McGovern, 2011. "Still unequal at birth - birth weight, socioeconomic status and outcomes at age 9," Working Papers 201125, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201125
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3431
    File Function: First version, 2011
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Heather Royer, 2009. "Separated at Girth: US Twin Estimates of the Effects of Birth Weight," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 49-85, January.
    2. Delaney, Liam & McGovern, Mark & Smith, James P., 2011. "From Angela's ashes to the Celtic tiger: Early life conditions and adult health in Ireland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-10, January.
    3. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439.
    5. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
    7. Patricio Solís & Starling G. Pullum & W. Frisbie, 2000. "Demographic models of birth outcomes and infant mortality: An alternative measurement approach," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(4), pages 489-498, November.
    8. Janet Currie, 2009. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 87-122, March.
    9. Jason Boardman & Daniel Powers & Yolanda Padilla & Robert Hummer, 2002. "Low birth weight, social factors, and developmental outcomes among children in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 353-368, May.
    10. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
    11. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "Biology as Destiny? Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Intergenerational Transmission of Birth Weight," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 231-264.
    13. Arnaud Chevalier & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2007. "Mother's education and birth weight," Working Papers 200725, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    14. In Utero, 2006. "Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over? Long-Term Effects of In Utero Influenza Exposure in the Post-1940 U.S. Population," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 672-712, August.
    15. 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.
    16. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
    17. Ashlesha Datar & M. Kilburn & David Loughran, 2010. "Endowments and parental investments in infancy and early childhood," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 145-162, February.
    18. Lorraine Dearden & Luke Sibieta & Kathy Sylva, 2011. "The socio-economic gradient in early child outcomes: evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study," IFS Working Papers W11/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    19. Costa, Dora L., 1998. "Unequal at Birth: A Long-Term Comparison of Income and Birth Weight," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(04), pages 987-1009, December.
    20. Lin, Ming-Jen & Liu, Jin-Tan, 2009. "Do lower birth weight babies have lower grades? Twin fixed effect and instrumental variable method evidence from Taiwan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 1780-1787, May.
    21. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1991. "Inequality at birth : The scope for policy intervention," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 205-228, October.
    22. Sakiko Tanaka, 2005. "Parental leave and child health across OECD countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages 7-28, February.
    23. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
    24. 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.
    25. Rossin, Maya, 2011. "The effects of maternity leave on children's birth and infant health outcomes in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 221-239, March.
    26. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    27. repec:cdl:ucsdec:1562347 is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
    29. repec:ags:stataj:143003 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
    31. repec:ucn:wpaper:10197/317 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Patrick Royston, 2009. "Multiple imputation of missing values: Further update of ice, with an emphasis on categorical variables," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(3), pages 466-477, September.
    33. Bharadwaj, Prashant & Eberhard, Juan & Neilson, Christopher, 2010. "Do Initial Endowments Matter Only Initially? The Persistent Effect of Birth Weight on School Achievement," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4536p0hd, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    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. Mark E. McGovern, 2012. "Don't stress: early life conditions, hypertension and selection into associated risk factors," Working Papers 201223, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. McGovern, Mark E., 2014. "How Much Does Birth Weight Matter for Child Health in Developing Countries? Estimates from Siblings and Twins," Working Paper 143921, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    3. Mark E. McGovern & Slawa Rokicki, 2017. "Heterogeneity in Early Life Investments: A Longitudinal Analysis of Children’s Time Use," Working Papers 201703, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    4. Anne Nolan & Richard Layte, 2014. "Socio-economic Inequalities in Child Health in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(1), pages 25-64.
    5. Doris, Aedín & O’Neill, Donal & Sweetman, Olive, 2013. "Gender, single-sex schooling and maths achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 104-119.
    6. Mark E. McGovern, 2016. "Progress and the Lack of Progress in Addressing Infant Health and Infant Health Inequalities in Ireland during the 20th Century," Economics Working Papers 16-05, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast.
    7. Sarah Gibney & Mark E. McGovern & Erika Sabbath, 2013. "Social Relationships in Later Life: The Role of Childhood Circumstances," Working Papers 201319, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early life conditions; Birth weight; Health inequalities; Test scores; Birth weight--Social aspects; Birth weight--Economic aspects; Birth weight--Health aspects; Health status indicators;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

    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:ucn:wpaper:201125. 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: (Nicolas Clifton). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/educdie.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.