|Title||Impacts of Unexpected Birth Outcomes on the Life of Children and Parents: Why Dynamic Complementarities?|
|Date||2019年2月18日（月）February 18, 2019, 10:30-12:00|
Seminar Room No. 1, Economics Research Annex (Kojima Hall), University of Tokyo [MAP]
|Speaker||丸山士行（Shiko Maruyama, University Technology Sydney)|
|Abstract||Another Look at Returns to Birthweight
We revisit the causal effect of birthweight. Because variation in birthweight in developed countries primarily stems from variation in gestational age rather than intrauterine growth restriction, we depart from the widely-used twin fixed-effects estimator and employ an instrumental variable – the diagnosis of placenta previa, which provides exogenous variation in gestation length. We find protective effects of additional birthweight against infant mortality and health capital loss, such as cerebral palsy, but in contrast to sibling and twin studies, no strong evidence for non-health long-run outcomes, such as test scores. We also find that short-run birthweight effects have diminished significantly over the decades.
Demanding Babies: How Unexpected Birth Outcomes Alter Parents’ Life
Children with severe health problems and disabilities require continuing care from parents. Understanding the impacts of unexpected care needs on parents and how parents cope with these shocks is an essential first step in designing policies to support impacted parents and reduce the catastrophic risk in the life of families. There is a large, long-standing literature on the effect of children’s health on parental labor supply, but two major limitations of the literature are identified. First, the vast majority of the literature relies on a simple regression framework without a causal research design. Second, the majority of the literature focuses on the impact on maternal labor supply. Many studies found statistically significant negative effects of children’s health problems and disabilities on the mother’s labor supply, but an important knowledge gap is whether this is a temporary adjustment or a catastrophic life-long event to families even in a contemporary developed country. In this paper, we use population data from Denmark to investigate the impact of severe child care needs on not only parental labor supply but also the family stability, future fertility decision, and parental crime. To obtain more credible causal estimates than previous studies, we focus on birth outcomes, which can be interpreted as the initial health endowment. Because many birth outcomes, such as birthweight and perinatal infection, are often non-random and significantly correlated with the socio-demographic status of parents, we study three plausibly exogenous unexpected birth shocks that tend to result in non-negligible care needs but have little long-term impact on the health of mothers: (1) placenta previa, an obstetric complication that tends to cause premature birth; (2) twin births; and (3) congenital heart disease. We argue that, after controlling for an extensive set of independent variables, these shocks at birth are fairly random. Our results show statistically significant effects of these unexpected birth outcomes: these birth shocks decrease parental labor supply and future fertility and increase the risks of parental separation and committing a crime by the 5th birthday of the child. These effects are particularly strong in the group of parents who are younger, immigrants, and lower educated. This study highlights that even in one of the most developed welfare states, the low SES group faces a substantial life-long risk in having a child.
|Information||英語での発表となります（Presentation in English）
主催：Empirical Micro Research Seminar