A new working paper has been added to the CINCH working paper series: Birth Order and Health of Newborns: What Can We Learn from Danish Registry Data? by Anne Ardila Brenøe and Ramona Molitor.
Research has shown a strong negative correlation between birth order and cognitive test scores, IQ, and educational outcomes. We ask whether birth order differences in health are present at birth using matched administrative data for more than 1,000,000 children born in Denmark between 1981 and 2010. Using family fixed effects models, we find a positive and robust birth order effect; lower parity children are less healthy at birth. Looking at the potential mechanisms, we find that during earlier pregnancies women have higher labor market attachment, behave more risky in terms of smoking, receive more prenatal care, and are diagnosed with more medical pregnancy complications. Yet, none of these factors explain the birth order differences at birth. This positive birth order effect at birth stands in stark contrast to a negative birth order effect in educational performance. Once we control for health at birth, the negative birth order effect in educational performance further increases.
A new working paper has been added to the CINCH working paper series: "Heterogeneity in Marginal Nonmonetary Returns to Higher Education” by Daniel A. Kamhöfer, Hendrik Schmitz and Matthias Westphal.
In this paper we estimate the effects of college education on cognitive abilities and health exploiting exogenous variation in college availability and student loan regulations. By means of semiparametric local instrumental variables techniques we estimate marginal treatment effects in an environment of essential heterogeneity. The results suggest heterogeneous but always positive effects on cognitive skills and homogeneously positive effects for all health outcomes but mental health, where the effects are around zero throughout. We find that likely mechanisms of positive physical health returns are effects of college education on physically demanding activities on the job and health behavior such as smoking and drinking while mentally more demanding jobs might explain the skill returns.
A new working paper has been added to the CINCH working paper series: "Parental education and child health: Evidence from an education reform in China” by Samantha B. Rawlings.
This paper investigates the impact of parental education on child health, exploiting a compulsory schooling law implemented in China in 1986 that extended schooling from 6 to 9 years. It finds that it is maternal, rather than paternal, education that matters most for child health. There are also important differences in the effect according to child gender. An additional year of mother’s education raises boys height-for-age by 0.163 standard deviations, whilst there is no statistically significant effect on girls height. Parental education appears to have little effect on weight-for-age of children. Estimated effects on height are driven by the rural sample, where an additional year of mother’s education raises boys height for age by 0.228 standard deviations and lowers the probability of a boy being classified as stunted by 6.6 percentage points. Results therefore suggest that - at least in rural areas - son preference in China has additional impacts beyond the sex-ratio at birth.