Prenatal Sunshine Exposure and Birth Outcomes in China

38 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020

See all articles by Xin Zhang

Xin Zhang

Beijing Normal University (BNU) - School of Statistics

Xi Chen

Department of Health Policy and Management; Yale University - Department of Economics; Yale University - Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies; IZA

Yixuan Wang

Beijing Normal University (BNU)

Xun Zhang

Beijing Normal University (BNU)

Abstract

This paper is one of the first to examine the associations between prenatal sunshine exposure and birth outcomes, specifically the incidence of low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA), based on a nationally representative birth record dataset in China. During the sample period in the 1990s, migration was limited in rural China, allowing us to address the identification challenges, like residential sorting and avoidance behaviors. We found a nonlinear relationship between the length of sunlight and birth outcomes. In particular, prenatal exposure to increasing sunshine was associated with a reduction in the incidence of LBW and SGA, especially in the second trimester during pregnancy. This finding was consistent with the clinical evidence suggesting positive effects of sunshine on birth outcomes via obtaining vitamin D or relieving maternal stress.

Keywords: small for gestational age, low birth weight, sunshine duration, China

JEL Classification: I12, J13, I18, Q51

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Xin and Chen, Xi and Wang, Yixuan and Zhang, Xun, Prenatal Sunshine Exposure and Birth Outcomes in China. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12877, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3521695

Xin Zhang (Contact Author)

Beijing Normal University (BNU) - School of Statistics ( email )

Beijing, 100875
China

Xi Chen

Department of Health Policy and Management ( email )

60 College St
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Yale University - Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies ( email )

77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://isps.yale.edu/team/xi-chen

IZA ( email )

Yixuan Wang

Beijing Normal University (BNU)

19 Xinjiekou Outer St
Haidian District
Beijing, Guangdong 100875
China

Xun Zhang

Beijing Normal University (BNU) ( email )

19 Xinjiekou Outer St
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100875
China

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
56
PlumX Metrics