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Neonatal Health of Parents and Cognitive Development of Children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Article number102247
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Early online date30 Nov 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 9 Oct 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jan 2020


It is well-established that neonatal health is a strong predictor of socioeconomic outcomes later in life, but does neonatal health also predict key outcomes of the next generation? This paper documents a surprisingly strong relationship between birth weight of parents and school test scores of their children. The association between maternal birth weight and child test scores corresponds to 50-80 percent of the association between the child’s own birth weight and test scores across various empirical specifications, for example including grandmother fixed effects that isolate within family differences between mothers. Paternal and maternal birth weights are equally important in predicting child test scores. Our intergenerational results suggest that inequality in neonatal health is important for inequality in key outcomes of the next

    Research areas

  • Neonatal health, human capital formation, intergenerational dependency

    Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics

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    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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