Mitigating the Effects of Low Birth Weight: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Adoptees

26 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2013 Last revised: 28 Feb 2014

See all articles by Brian Beach

Brian Beach

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

Martin Hugo Saavedra

Oberlin College - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 25, 2014

Abstract

Infants who are underweight at birth earn less, score lower on tests, and become less educated as adults. Previous studies have found mixed evidence that socioeconomic status mitigates this effect. In this paper, we reconcile these findings using a unique dataset in which adoptees were quasi-randomly assigned to families. We find that the average income within a zip code mitigates the effects of low birth weight, as in Currie and Morreti (2007), whereas other family characteristics do not, as in Currie and Hyson (1999). These results cannot be explained by differences in genetics, prenatal healthcare or neonatal healthcare.

Keywords: I1, J1

JEL Classification: low birth weight, education, earnings, socioeconomic status, adoptees

Suggested Citation

Beach, Brian and Saavedra, Martin Hugo, Mitigating the Effects of Low Birth Weight: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Adoptees (February 25, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2313297 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2313297

Brian Beach (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

Martin Hugo Saavedra

Oberlin College - Department of Economics ( email )

Oberlin, OH 44074
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/martinsaavedra/

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