Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics

No 10-3: Medium-term consequences of low birth weight on health and behavioral deficits – is there a catch-up effect?

Nabanita Datta Gupta (), Mette Deding () and Mette Lausten ()
Additional contact information
Nabanita Datta Gupta: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University, Department of Economics, Frichshuset Hermodsvej 22, 8230 Aabyhøj, Denmark
Mette Deding: The Danish National Centre for Social Research
Mette Lausten: The Danish National Centre for Social Research

Abstract: A number of studies have documented negative long term effects of low birth weight. Yet, not much is known about the dynamics of the process leading to adverse health and educational outcomes in the long-run. While some studies find effects of the same size at both school age and young adulthood, others find a diminishing negative effect over time due to a catching-up process. The purpose of this paper is to try to resolve this puzzle by analyzing the medium term consequences of low birth weight measured as various child outcomes at ages 6 months, 3, 7 and 11, using data from the Danish Longitudinal Survey of Children. Observing the same children at different points in time allows us to chart the evolution of health and behavioral deficits among children born with low birth weight and helps inform the nature and timing of interventions

Keywords: low birth weight; medium term effects; health and behavioral outcomes; longitudinal child-mother survey

JEL-codes: I12

42 pages, January 1, 2010

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