The Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Temperature Extremes on Birth Outcomes

48 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2020

See all articles by Xi Chen

Xi Chen

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

Chih Tan

University of North Dakota

Xiaobo Zhang

Peking University - National School of Development

Xin Zhang

Beijing Normal University (BNU) - School of Statistics

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of prenatal exposure to extreme temperatures on birth outcomes – specifically, the log of birth weight and an indicator for low birth weight – using a nationally representative dataset in rural China. During the span of our data (i.e., 1991–2000), indoor air-conditioning was not widely available and migration was limited, allowing us to address identification issues endemic in the climate change literature related to adaptation and location sorting. We find substantial heterogeneity in the effects of extreme temperature exposure on birth outcomes. In particular, prenatal exposure to heat waves has stronger negative effects than exposure to cold spells on survivors.

Keywords: climate change, cold weather, heat waves, birth weight, low birth weight, China

JEL Classification: I15, Q54, Q51

Suggested Citation

Chen, Xi and Tan, Chih and Zhang, Xiaobo and Zhang, Xin, The Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Temperature Extremes on Birth Outcomes. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12917. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3525245

Xi Chen (Contact Author)

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 )

Chih Tan

University of North Dakota

Box 8366
Grand Forks, ND 58202
United States

Xiaobo Zhang

Peking University - National School of Development ( email )

Beijing, 100871
China

Xin Zhang

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

Beijing, 100875
China

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