Biology as destiny? Short- and long-run determinants of intergenerational transmission of birth weight

Janet Currie, Enrico Moretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

184 Scopus citations

Abstract

We use a unique data set of California births to ask whether intergenerational correlations in health contribute to the perpetuation of economic status. We find that if a mother was low birth weight, her child is significantly more likely to be low birth weight, even when we compare mothers who are sisters. Second, the intergenerational transmission of low birth weight is stronger for mothers in high poverty zip codes. Third, low birth weight affects proxies for later socioeconomic status. Fourth, these effects are stronger for women born in high poverty zip codes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-263
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Labor Economics
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Economics and Econometrics

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