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In-utero social interaction of twins

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  • Heinesen, E.
  • Imai, S.
  • Maruyama, S.

Abstract

We model pre-birth twins' competition for maternal resources inside the womb. When the innate endowment affects both birth weight and the post-birth outcome directly, pre-natal social interaction leads to bias in thestandard twin fixed-effects estimator. We propose a test of social interaction that is based on data on triplets, and find some evidence for social interaction. We then use an instrumental-variable estimation strategy that recovers consistently the returns to birth weight. Our estimation results indicate that the returns to birth weight are closer to the sibling-based estimates than the twin fixed-effects estimates reported in the previous literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinesen, E. & Imai, S. & Maruyama, S., 2015. "In-utero social interaction of twins," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/18, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:15/18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 2005. "Birth weight and schooling and earnings: estimates from a sample of twins," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 387-392, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    4. Dalton Conley & Kate Strully & Neil G. Bennett, 2003. "A Pound of Flesh or Just Proxy? Using Twin Differences to Estimate the Effect of Birth Weight on Life Chances," NBER Working Papers 9901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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