The Returns to Early-Life Interventions for Very Low Birth Weight Children
31 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 2019
We use comprehensive administrative data from Rhode Island to measure the impact of early-life interventions for low birth weight newborns on later-life outcomes. We use a regression discontinuity design based on the 1,500-gram threshold for Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) status. We show that threshold crossing causes more intense in-hospital care, in line with prior studies. Threshold crossing also causes a 0.34 standard deviation increase in test scores in elementary and middle school, a 17.1 percentage point increase in the probability of college enrollment, and $66,997 decrease in social program expenditures by age 14. We explore potential mechanisms driving these impacts.
Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation