Economics at your fingertips  

Another look at returns to birthweight

Shiko Maruyama () and Eskil Heinesen ()

Journal of Health Economics, 2020, vol. 70, issue C

Abstract: We revisit the causal effect of birthweight. Because variation in birthweight in developed countries primarily stems from variation in gestational age rather than intrauterine growth restriction, we depart from the widely-used twin fixed-effects estimator and employ an instrumental variable – the diagnosis of placenta previa, which provides exogenous variation in gestation length. We find protective effects of additional birthweight against infant mortality and health capital loss, such as cerebral palsy, but in contrast to sibling and twin studies, no strong evidence for non-health long-run outcomes, such as test scores. We also find that short-run birthweight effects have diminished significantly over the decades.

Keywords: Birthweight; Infant health; Gestation; Placenta previa; Fatal origin hypothesis; Instrumental variable; Twin fixed-effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C26 I18 J13 J24 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.102269

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

More articles in Journal of Health Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2021-10-08
Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:70:y:2020:i:c:s0167629617308160