Neonatal Health of Parents and Cognitive Development of Children

43 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017

See all articles by Claus Thustrup Kreiner

Claus Thustrup Kreiner

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Hans Henrik Sievertsen

University of Bristol

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

This paper documents a strong relationship between birth endowments of parents and the cognitive development of their children. The association between maternal birth weight and child school test scores corresponds to 80 percent of the association between the child's own birth weight and test scores (both in univariate and multivariate settings). We find a strong relationship, even when controlling for family differences, by looking at birth weight variation between sisters and the test score outcomes of their children, and when controlling for parental education and economic resources. Child test scores are also strongly related to paternal birth weight. To assess external validity, we replicate recent results from the US on the relationship between child birth weight and test scores. Our intergenerational results suggest that inequality in birth endowments may be important for inequality in key outcomes of the next generation.

Keywords: human capital formation, intergenerational dependency, Neonatal health

JEL Classification: I12, J13, J24

Suggested Citation

Kreiner, Claus Thustrup and Sievertsen, Hans Henrik, Neonatal Health of Parents and Cognitive Development of Children (October 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12379. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3057293

Claus Thustrup Kreiner (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

Hans Henrik Sievertsen

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

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