Teen Smoking and Birth Outcomes

33 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2007 Last revised: 31 Jul 2010

See all articles by MaryBeth Beth Walker

MaryBeth Beth Walker

Georgia State University

Erdal Tekin

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sally Wallace

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; University of Pretoria

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

In the U.S. teen mothers are more likely to give birth to low birth weight babies than non-teen mothers. There is also substantial evidence that smoking is a risk factor correlated with low birth weight. Low birth weight is a costly outcome in both the short and long term for parents, children, and society at large. This paper examines the causal link between teen age smoking behavior and low birth weight. We use a variety of empirical techniques including fixed effects and a matching estimator to identify the impact of smoking on babies of teen and non-teen mothers. We find that both OLS and matching estimator results yield large impacts of smoking on birth weight for teens and adults. However, when we control for unobservables through a fixed effects model, the impact of smoking on birth weight is diminished and there are relatively small differences in the impact of smoking on birth weight between teens and non-teens.

Suggested Citation

Walker, Mary Beth Beth and Tekin, Erdal and Wallace, Sally, Teen Smoking and Birth Outcomes (September 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13386. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1014570

Mary Beth Beth Walker

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30302
United States

Erdal Tekin (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

University Plaza
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Atlanta, GA 30303
United States
404-651-3968 (Phone)
404-651-4985 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Sally Wallace

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
35 Broad Street, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States
(404) 413-0046 (Phone)

University of Pretoria ( email )

Physical Address Economic and Management Sciences
Pretoria, Gauteng 0002
South Africa

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