Preterm Births and Educational Disadvantage: Heterogeneous Effects Across Families and Schools

46 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2019

See all articles by Anna Baranowska-Rataj

Anna Baranowska-Rataj

University of Umea

Kieron Barclay

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; London School of Economics, Department of Social Policy; Stockholm University - Department of Sociology

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Mikko Myrskylä

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Berkay Özcan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Using Swedish population register data on cohorts born 1982-1994 (N=1,087,750), we examine the effects of preterm births on school grades using sibling fixed effect models which compare individuals with their non-preterm siblings. We test for heterogeneous effects by degree of prematurity, as well as whether family socioeconomic resources and school characteristics can compensate for any negative effects of premature births. Our results show that preterm births can have negative effects on school grades, but these negative effects are largely confined to children born extremely preterm (<28 weeks of gestation, i.e. born at least 10 weeks earlier). Children born moderately preterm (i.e. born up to 5 weeks early) suffer no ill effects. We do not find any evidence for the moderating effect of parental socioeconomic resources. Our results indicate that school environment is very important for the outcomes of preterm born children, such that those born extremely preterm that are in the top decile of schools have as good grades as those born full-term that are in an average school. However, good schools appear to lift scores for all groups, and as a result that gap between extremely preterm and full-term children remains also in the best schools. This highlights the role of schools as institutions that may either reduce or reinforce the early life course disadvantage.

Keywords: premature births, human capital, early life investments, education investments, Sweden

JEL Classification: I100, I200, J130

Suggested Citation

Baranowska-Rataj, Anna and Barclay, Kieron and Costa-Font, Joan and Myrskylä, Mikko and Özcan, Berkay, Preterm Births and Educational Disadvantage: Heterogeneous Effects Across Families and Schools (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7870. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3468005

Anna Baranowska-Rataj (Contact Author)

University of Umea ( email )

Samhallsvetarhuset, Plan 2
Umea University
Umeå, SE 901 87
Sweden

Kieron Barclay

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research ( email )

Doberaner Str. 114
Rostock 18057, 53113
Germany

London School of Economics, Department of Social Policy ( email )

Houghton Street
London, England WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Stockholm University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Department of Sociology, Stockholm University
Stockholm S-106 91, 10691
Sweden

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://joancostaifont.org/

Mikko Myrskylä

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research ( email )

Doberaner Str. 114
Rostock 18057, 53113
Germany

Berkay Özcan

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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