Advertisement

The effects of demographics and maternal behavior on the distribution of birth outcomes

  • Jason Abrevaya
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Empirical Economics book series (STUDEMP)

Abstract

This paper utilizes quantile-regression techniques in order to estimate the effects of demographics and maternal behavior during pregnancy at various quantiles of the birthweight distribution. Due to the high costs and longterm effects (both medical and economic) associated with low-birthweight babies, there is a great deal of interest in quantifying these effects, particularly at the lower end of the birthweight distribution. Using large samples of 1992 and 1996 births in the United States, the quantile-regression estimates indicate that several factors (including race, education, and prenatal care) have a significantly higher impact at lower quantiles and lower impact at higher quantiles. These effects at lower quantiles are underestimated by least-squares regression estimates. The inequality in birthweights implied by these results is quite significant, and there is little indication that the inequality has changed much in recent years.

Key words

birthweight natality quantile regression 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Buchinsky M (1994) Changes in the U.S. wage structure 1963–1987: application of quantile regression. Econometrica 62: 405–458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Buchinsky M (1995) Estimating the asymptotic covariance matrix for quantile regression models: a Monte Carlo study. Journal of Econometrics 68: 303–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Buchinsky M (1998) Recent advances in quantile regression models: a practical guideline for empirical research. Journal of Human Resources 33: 88–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Corman H (1995) The effects of low birthweight and other medical risk factors on resource utilization in the pre-school years. NBER Working Paper 5273Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Corman H, Chaikind S (1998) The effect of low birthweight on the school performance and behavior of school-aged children. Economics of Education Review 17: 307–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Currie J, Gruber J (1996) Saving babies: the efficacy and cost of recent changes in the Medicaid eligibility of pregnant women. Journal of Political Economy 104: 457–470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Currie J, Hyson R (1999)1s the impact of health shocks cushioned by socioeconomic status? the case of low birthweight. American Economic Review 89: 245–250Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dickert-Conlin S, Chandra A (1999) Taxes and the timing of births. Journal of Political Economy 107: 161–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Evans WN, Ringel JS (1999) Can higher cigarette taxes improve birth outcomes? Journal of Public Economics 72: 135–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fitzenberger B (1998) The moving blocks bootstrap and robust inference for linear least squares and quantile regressions. Journal of Econometrics 82: 235–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hack M, Klein NK, Taylor G (1995) Long-term developmental outcomes of low birth weight infants. The Future of Children 5: 19–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hoyert DL (1996) Fetal mortality by maternal education and prenatal care: 1990. Vital and Health Statistics 20(30), Centers for Disease Control and PreventionGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Joyce T (1999) Impact of augmented prenatal care on birth outcomes of Medicaid recipients in New York City. Journal of Health Economics 18: 31–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Koenker R, Bassett G (1978) Regression quantiles. Econometrica 46: 33–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Levinson, A, Ullman F (1998) Medicaid managed care and infant health. Journal of Health Economics 17: 351–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lewit EM, Baker LS, Corman H, Shiono PH (1995) The direct costs of low birth weight. The Future of Children 5: 35–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mathews TJ (1998) Smoking during pregnancy: 1990–1996. National Vital Statistics Reports 47(10), Centers for Disease Control and PreventionGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Powell JL (1986) Censored regression quantiles. Journal of Econometrics 32: 143–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Reichman NE, Florio MJ (1996) The effects of enriched prenatal care services on Medicaid birth outcomes in New Jersey. Journal of Health Economics 15: 455–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rosenzweig MR, Wolpin KI (1991) Inequality at birth: the scope for policy intervention. Journal of Econometrics 50: 205–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason Abrevaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of BusinessThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations