This article was published online on January 22, 2013. Errors were subsequently identified. This notice is included in the online and print versions to indicate that both have been corrected May 30, 2013.
FETAL HEALTH SHOCKS AND EARLY INEQUALITIES IN HEALTH CAPITAL ACCUMULATION†
Article first published online: 22 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 69–92, January 2014
How to Cite
Wehby, G. L., Nyarko, K. A. and Lopez-Camelo, J. S. (2014), FETAL HEALTH SHOCKS AND EARLY INEQUALITIES IN HEALTH CAPITAL ACCUMULATION. Health Econ., 23: 69–92. doi: 10.1002/hec.2901
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 22 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 16 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Received: 25 OCT 2011
- child health;
- quantile regression;
- health production;
Several studies report socioeconomic inequalities in child health and consequences of early disease. However, not much is known about inequalities in health capital accumulation in the womb in response to fetal health shocks, which is essential for finding the earliest sensitive periods for interventions to reduce inequalities. We identify inequalities in birth weight accumulation as a result of fetal health shocks from the occurrence of one of the most common birth defects, oral clefts, within the first 9 weeks of pregnancy, using quantile regression and two datasets from South America and the USA. Infants born at lower birth weight quantiles are significantly more adversely affected by the health shock compared with those born at higher birth weight quantiles, with overall comparable results between the South American and US samples. These results suggest that fetal health shocks increase child health disparities by widening the spread of the birth weight distribution and that health inequalities begin in the womb, requiring interventions before pregnancy. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.