Victimisation and Birth Outcomes

21 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2023

Date Written: June 2, 2023


We estimate the causal effect of individual criminal victimisation in robbery and theft on birth outcomes using a unique dataset from Brazil combining information on the universe of victims of crime with vital statistics data. We find that victimisation during pregnancy reduces birthweight by about 16 grams - 3 percent of a standard deviation in birthweight - and increases the likelihood of low and extremely low birthweight by about 8.5 and 30 percent, respectively, compared to the baseline. The results are robust to the inclusion of place of residence, maternal and time fixed effects and to the inclusion of a very large array of mother and pregnancy characteristics. We also show that victimisation leads to behavioural adjustments of mothers as we observe a reduction in the number of prenatal visits. Effects are stronger for individuals of lower socio-economic background, indicating that victimisation might contribute to the intergenerational transmission of poverty.

Funding Information: The paper has not received any external funding.

Conflict of Interests: The authors declare no competing interests with regards to this paper.

Keywords: Victimisation, crime, birth outcomes, health investments

JEL Classification: I12, J13, K42, O12

Suggested Citation

Menezes, Livia and Foureaux Koppensteiner, Martin, Victimisation and Birth Outcomes (June 2, 2023). Available at SSRN:

Livia Menezes

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner (Contact Author)

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford, GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

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