We study in-utero exposure to economic fluctuations on birth outcomes by exploiting geographical variation in the unemployment rate across local areas in England, and by comparing siblings born to the same mother. Using rich individual data from hospital administrative records for 2003–2012, babies’ health is found to be strongly pro-cyclical. This overall result masks marked differences between babies born in the most affluent areas whose health at birth improves in a recession, and babies born in the average-to-lowest income deprived areas whose health deteriorates. Maternal alcohol consumption, smoking, and delay in the first antenatal care assessment - combined with parental income loss, are found to drive the results. While differences in maternal risky behaviours can explain the heterogenous effects.

Does Unemployment Worsen Babies? Health? A Tale of Siblings, Maternal Behaviour and Selection

C Nicodemo
2020-01-01

Abstract

We study in-utero exposure to economic fluctuations on birth outcomes by exploiting geographical variation in the unemployment rate across local areas in England, and by comparing siblings born to the same mother. Using rich individual data from hospital administrative records for 2003–2012, babies’ health is found to be strongly pro-cyclical. This overall result masks marked differences between babies born in the most affluent areas whose health at birth improves in a recession, and babies born in the average-to-lowest income deprived areas whose health deteriorates. Maternal alcohol consumption, smoking, and delay in the first antenatal care assessment - combined with parental income loss, are found to drive the results. While differences in maternal risky behaviours can explain the heterogenous effects.
Unemployment rate
Birth outcomes
Birthweight
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
jhealecondecao.pdf

accesso aperto

Licenza: Dominio pubblico
Dimensione 1.63 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.63 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1081906
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact