Economics at your fingertips  

Maternal and fetal health effects of working during pregnancy

Dhaval M. Dave and Muzhe Yang ()
Additional contact information
Dhaval M. Dave: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
Muzhe Yang: Lehigh University

Review of Economics of the Household, 2022, vol. 20, issue 1, No 4, 57-102

Abstract: Abstract We provide some of the first empirical evidence of maternal and fetal health effects of working during pregnancy by using a unique dataset from the New Jersey Department of Health that includes information not only on pregnancy and birth outcomes but also on maternal employment. We match the mother’s occupation with the Metabolic Equivalent of Task, provided by the Census Occupational Classification System and used as a measure for the strenuousness of the work activities performed. Focusing on an empirical setting where laws regarding reasonable accommodations for pregnant women are already in place, we still find consistent and robust evidence that working in a relatively more strenuous job during pregnancy raises the likelihood of an adverse birth outcome, specifically fetal macrosomia, by about 1.5 percentage points. While there are no statistically or economically significant effects on other birth outcomes, our finding of a significant increase in fetal macrosomia nevertheless highlights a possible deficiency of existing accommodation laws intended to protect pregnant workers. In addition, our study indicates an under-studied link between gestational diabetes (a known risk factor for fetal macrosomia) and intensive physical activities at work during pregnancy, potentially mediated by disrupted sleep due to greater work intensity.

Keywords: Physical activity; Job strenuousness; Pregnancy and birth outcomes; Fetal macrosomia; Gestational diabetes; I12; J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... cs/journal/11150/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s11150-020-09513-y

Access Statistics for this article

Review of Economics of the Household is currently edited by Shoshana Grossbard

More articles in Review of Economics of the Household from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2022-11-12
Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:20:y:2022:i:1:d:10.1007_s11150-020-09513-y