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Birth Weight and Family Resource Allocations: New Evidence from Twins

Author

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  • Carrillo, B.
  • Branco, D.

Abstract

It is now widely recognized that birth endowments can have long-lasting effects on later-life outcomes. An intriguing question is how parents respond to shifts in child endowments. Some of the estimates in literaturemay be affected by small samples and unobservable mother-specific factors, limiting the power of policy implications. We exploit variation within twins to estimate the effect of birth weight on health investments in children. Using data from 68 developing countries, we find that lower birth weight babies receive less health care investments in infancy. These effects are larger for countries with higher infant mortality rates, lower life expectancy,and poorer sanitation facilities. Collectively, the findings suggest that parental behaviors contribute to amplify the baseline effects of birth endowments on long-run outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Carrillo, B. & Branco, D., 2016. "Birth Weight and Family Resource Allocations: New Evidence from Twins," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/06, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:16/06
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Emilia Del Bono & John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2012. "Intrafamily Resource Allocations: A Dynamic Structural Model of Birth Weight," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 657-706.
    2. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2013. "Fetal Origins and Parental Responses," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 37-56, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    5. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    6. Douglas Almond & Joseph J. Doyle & Amanda E. Kowalski & Heidi Williams, 2010. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Medical Care: Evidence from At-risk Newborns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 591-634.
    7. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Mårten Palme, 2009. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1729-1772.
    8. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1982. "Parental Preferences and Provision for Progeny," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 52-73, February.
    9. repec:ucn:wpaper:10197/317 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham, 2016. "Endowments at Birth and Parents' Investments in Children," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 781-820, June.
    12. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-1174, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    twins; birth weight; parental investments;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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