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Still unequal at birth - birth weight, socioeconomic status and outcomes at age 9

Mark McGovern

No 201125, Working Papers from School of Economics, University College Dublin

Abstract: Birth weight is an important aspect of public health which has been linked to increased risk of infant death, increased cost of care, and a range of later life outcomes. Using data from a new Irish cohort study, I document the relationship between birth weight and socioeconomic status. A strong association with maternal education does not appear to be due to the timing of birth or complications during pregnancy, even controlling for a wide range of background characteristics. However, results do suggest intergenerational persistence in the transmission of poor early life conditions. A comparison with the UK Millennium Cohort Study reveals similar social gradients in both countries. Birth weight predicts a number of outcomes at age 9, including test scores, hospital stays and health. An advantage of the data is that I am able to control for a number of typically unmeasured variables. I determine whether parental investments as measured by the quality of interaction with the child, parenting style, or school quality mediate the association between birth weight and later indicators. For test scores, there is evidence of non-linearity. Boys are more adversely affected than girls, and I find that the effects of low birth weight (

Keywords: Early life conditions; Birth weight; Health inequalities; Test scores; Birth weight--Social aspects; Birth weight--Economic aspects; Birth weight--Health aspects; Health status indicators (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 I18 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-edu, nep-eur and nep-hea
Date: 2011-11
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Downloads: (external link)
http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3431 First version, 2011 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Still Unequal at Birth: Birth Weight,Socio-economic Status and Outcomes at Age 9 (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Still Unequal at Birth: Birth Weight, Socioeconomic Status and Outcomes at Age 9 (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Still Unequal At Birth: Birth Weight, Socioeconomic Status,And Outcomes at Age 9 (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Still unequal at birth: birth weight, socioeconomic status and outcomes at age 9 (2012) Downloads
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