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Fetal Origins and Parental Responses

40 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2012 Last revised: 7 Feb 2013

Douglas Almond Jr.

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 31, 2013

Abstract

How do parental investments respond to health endowments at birth? Recent studies have combined insights from an earlier theoretical literature on household resource allocation with improved identification strategies to capture causal effects of early life health shocks. We describe empirical challenges in identifying behavioral responses and how recent studies have sought to address these. We then discuss the emerging literature on ‚Äúdynamic complementarities‚ÄĚ in parental investments arising from the staged, developmental nature of capability production and how capabilities may have multiple dimensions. The bulk of the empirical evidence to date suggests that parental investments reinforce initial endowment differences.

Keywords: fetal origins, birth endowments, birth weight, parental

JEL Classification: I12, J24

Suggested Citation

Almond, Douglas and Mazumder, Bhashkar, Fetal Origins and Parental Responses (January 31, 2013). FRB of Chicago Working Paper No. 2012-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2189577 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2189577

Douglas Vincent Almond Jr.

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Bhashkar Mazumder (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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