Missing a Nurse Visit

71 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2020 Last revised: 16 Apr 2023

See all articles by Jonas Hirani

Jonas Hirani

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hans Henrik Sievertsen

University of Bristol

Miriam Wüst

University of Copenhagen; VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research


While a large literature studies the impact of exposure to early-life investment policies, this paper examines the impact of changes within a program, the Danish nurse home visiting program, on child and maternal health. We exploit variation induced by a nurse strike, which resulted in families missing one of the four universally-provided nurse visit. Using variation in children's age at strike start, we show that early, but not later, strike exposure increases child and mother contacts to health professionals in the first four years after birth.Forgoing an early nurse visit also increases the probability of maternal contacts to mental health specialists in the first four years after childbirth. We highlight two potential channels for these results: screening and information provision. We show that in-non strike years-nurses nurses perform well in detecting maternal mental health risks during early visits, and that effects of early strike exposure are strongest for families that we expect to benefit most from information provided by nurses shortly after birth. A stylized calculation confirms that short-run health benefits from early universal home visiting outweigh costs.

Keywords: early-life health, parental investments, nurse home visiting, early interventions

JEL Classification: I11, I12, I14, I18, I21

Suggested Citation

Hirani, Jonas and Sievertsen, Hans Henrik and Wüst, Miriam, Missing a Nurse Visit. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13485, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3654922 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3654922

Jonas Hirani (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hans Henrik Sievertsen

University of Bristol ( email )

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

Miriam Wüst

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165

VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research ( email )

Herluf Trolles Gade 11
Copenhagen, 1052

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