The Effects of Incentivizing Early Prenatal Care on Infant Health
62 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2022
Date Written: 2022
We investigate the effects of incentivizing early prenatal care utilization on infant health by exploiting a reform that required expectant mothers to initiate prenatal care during the first ten weeks of gestation to obtain a one-time monetary transfer paid after childbirth. Applying a difference-in-differences design to individual-level data on the population of births and fetal deaths, we identify modest but statistically significant positive effects of the policy on neonatal health. We further provide suggestive evidence that improved maternal health-related knowledge and behaviors during pregnancy are plausible channels through which the reform might have affected fetal health.
Funding Information: Kamila Cygan-Rehm gratefully acknowledges funding by the Joachim Herz Stiftung.
Conflict of Interests: None.
Keywords: prenatal care, neonatal health, conditional cash transfers, prenatal care timing
JEL Classification: I120, I180, J130
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation