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Do cash transfers improve birth outcomes? Evidence from matched vital statistics, social security and program data

Amarante, Verónica, Manacorda, Marco, Miguel, Edward and Vigorito, Andrea (2011) Do cash transfers improve birth outcomes? Evidence from matched vital statistics, social security and program data. NBER Working Paper, No. 17690. National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Abstract

There is limited empirical evidence on whether unrestricted cash social assistance to poor pregnant women improves children’s birth outcomes. Using program administrative micro-data matched to longitudinal vital statistics on the universe of births in Uruguay, we estimate that participation in a generous cash transfer program led to a sizeable 15% reduction in the incidence of low birthweight. Improvements in mother nutrition and a fall in labor supply, out-of-wedlock births and mother’s smoking all appear to contribute to the effect. We conclude that, by improving child health, unrestricted unconditional cash transfers may help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.nber.org/
Additional Information: © 2011 The Authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I38 - Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J13 - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J8 - Labor Standards: National and International > J88 - Public Policy
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: No. 17690
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2013 11:28
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/54977/

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