11 October 2019

Claus Thustrup Kreiner and Hans Henrik Sievertsen in Journal of Health Economics

The paper Neonatal Health of Parents and Cognitive Development of Children is accepted for publication in in the Journal of Health Economics.

This paper documents a surprisingly strong relationship between birth weight of parents and school test scores of their children.

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?

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 with-in family differences between mothers.

Paternal and maternal birth weights are equally important in predicting child test scores. The intergenerational results suggest that inequality in neonatal health is important for inequality in key outcomes of the next generation.

Link to paper