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Unplanned Pregnancy & the Impact on Sibling Health Outcomes

Grace Lordan ()

No 419, Discussion Papers Series from University of Queensland, School of Economics

Abstract: This work considers the impact that a new sibling has on a child?s health status. Objective health outcomes are observed before a new addition(s) to the family, with the same outcomes being observed afterwards. In addition, this work examines whether planning matters with respect to this dilution effect. That is, we argue that dilution effects should be higher in the event that an additional sibling is unplanned. To our knowledge this is unexplored in the literature with respect to all areas of parental resource allocation. The data used relates to a sample of approximately 2000 children from Peru. These children?s parents have been surveyed at 1 year and again at 5 years. To test our hypothesis we exploit data from both waves of the survey. For health outcomes the impact on height for age z scores and weight for age z scores are considered. The results highlight significant independent effects on both height and weight for age when an unplanned sibling is added to the household. In addition, the results show that it is the most vulnerable children that are impacted the most by an unplanned sibling. A subsequent analysis highlights that it is the lowest socio- economic households that are the most likely to have an unplanned sibling.

Date: 2011
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis and nep-hea
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