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Economic Downturns and Babies’ Health

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  • Alessie, R.; Angelini, V.; Mierau, J.O.; Viluma, L.;

Abstract

We study the impact of provincial unemployment levels on birthweight using a sample of over 50,000 respondents from Lifelines – a cohort study from the northeastern Netherlands and we allow the effects to differ by babies’ gender. We find that during periods of high unemployment fertility decreases and male babies are born with lower birthweight. The effect of unemployment on birthweight is particularly strong for boys born to older mothers and for babies born to smoking mothers. In addition, we study whether the effects are attributable to changes in cohort composition or in health behaviour of pregnant women. Our results indicate that even though the women who are pregnant during economic downturns are more likely to have higher socio-economic status, the total effect of economic downturns on babies’ health is negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessie, R.; Angelini, V.; Mierau, J.O.; Viluma, L.;, 2017. "Economic Downturns and Babies’ Health," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/11, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:17/11
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    1. Kyriopoulos, Ilias & Nikoloski, Zlatko & Mossialos, Elias, 2019. "Does economic recession impact newborn health? Evidence from Greece," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 237(C), pages 1-1.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Birthweight; Unemployment; Cohort Studies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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