How Much Does Birth Weight Matter for Child Health in Developing Countries? Estimates from Siblings and Twins

Mark McGovern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

200 million children globally are not meeting their growth potential, and as a result will suffer the consequences in terms of future outcomes. I examine the effects of birth weight on child health and growth using information from 66 countries. I account for missing data and measurement error using instrumental variables, and adopt an identification strategy based on siblings and twins. I find a consistent effect of birth weight on mortality risk, stunting, wasting, and coughing, with some evidence for fever, diarrhoea and anaemia. Bounds analysis indicates that coefficients may be substantially underestimated due to mortality selection. Improving the pre-natal environment is likely to be important for helping children reach their full potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalHealth Economics
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date21 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Birth Weight
  • Child Health
  • Mortality Selection

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