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

Amarante, Verónica and Manacorda, Marco and 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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Identification Number: No. 17690

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
Subjects: 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)
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2013 11:28
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2013 11:28
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/54977

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