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Alcohol Exposure In Utero and Child Academic Achievement

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  • von Hinke Kessler Scholder, S.
  • Wehby, G. L.
  • Lewis, S.
  • Zuccolo, L.

Abstract

We examine the effect of alcohol exposure in utero on child academic achievement. As well as studying the effect of any alcohol exposure, we investigate the effect of the dose, pattern, and duration of exposure. We use a genetic variant in the maternal alcohol-metabolism gene ADH1B as an instrument for alcohol exposure, whilst controlling for the child's genotype on the same variant. We show that the instrument is unrelated to an extensive range of maternal and paternal characteristics and behaviours. OLS regressions suggest an ambiguous association between alcohol exposure in utero and children's academic attainment, but there is a strong social gradient in maternal drinking, with mothers in higher socio-economic groups more likely to drink. In stark contrast to the OLS, the IV estimates show negative effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on child educational attainment. These results are very robust to an extensive set of model specifications. In addition, we show that that the effects are solely driven by the maternal genotype, with no impact of the child's genotype.

Suggested Citation

  • von Hinke Kessler Scholder, S. & Wehby, G. L. & Lewis, S. & Zuccolo, L., 2014. "Alcohol Exposure In Utero and Child Academic Achievement," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/01, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:14/01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Climent Quintana-Domeque & Nicola Barban & Elisabetta De Cao & Sonia Oreffice, 2016. "Assortative Mating on Education: A Genetic Assessment," Economics Series Working Papers 791, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Padraig Dixon & George Davey Smith & Stephanie von Hinke & Neil M. Davies & William Hollingworth, 2016. "Estimating Marginal Healthcare Costs Using Genetic Variants as Instrumental Variables: Mendelian Randomization in Economic Evaluation," PharmacoEconomics, Springer, vol. 34(11), pages 1075-1086, November.
    3. Grönqvist, Erik & Norén, Anna & Sjögren, Anna & Svaleryd, Helena, 2017. "Auditing mothers: The effect of targeted alcohol prevention on infant Health and maternal behavior," Working Paper Series 2017:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    4. von Hinke, Stephanie & Davey Smith, George & Lawlor, Debbie A. & Propper, Carol & Windmeijer, Frank, 2016. "Genetic markers as instrumental variables," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 131-148.
    5. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:20-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Greve, Jane & Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise & Tekin, Erdal, 2017. "Fetal malnutrition and academic success: Evidence from Muslim immigrants in Denmark," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 20-35.
    7. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:162-169 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Nicola Barban & Elisabetta De Cao & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2016. "Assortative Mating: A Genetic Assessment," Working Papers 2016-034, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    9. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser & Adi Shany, 2016. "Out of Africa: Human Capital Consequences of In Utero Conditions," NBER Working Papers 21894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:eee:jhecon:v:59:y:2018:i:c:p:153-177 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Academic achievement; prenatal alcohol exposure; Mendelian randomization; ALSPAC;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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