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Pre – Birth Exposure to Ramadan, Height, and the Length of Gastation

Seyed Karimi ()
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Seyed Karimi: University of Washington Tacoma

No 1236, Working Papers from Economic Research Forum

Abstract: The effect of pre-birth exposure to Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, on children’s height and an array of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum outcomes— namely birthweight, neonatal mortality, breastfeeding initiation and duration, and a series of maternal pregnancy and delivery complications— was measured. Since the birth and postpartum outcomes correlate with the length of gestation, they can provide evidence on the effect of exposure to Ramadan on the length of gestation. I used data from 98 demographic and health surveys from 37 low and lower-middle income countries and found that pre-birth exposure to Ramadan decreases a Muslim male child’s height by as much as 12.2 mm on average. The examinations of the other outcomes did not provide strong evidence on the impact of exposure to Ramadan on gestation length.

Pages: 90 pages
Date: 2018-10-10, Revised 2018-10-10
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