Prenatal drug use and the production of infant health

Kelly Noonan, Nancy E. Reichman, Hope Corman, Dhaval Dave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We estimate the effect of illicit drug use during pregnancy on two measures of poor infant health: low birth weight and abnormal infant health conditions. We use data from a national longitudinal study of urban parents that includes postpartum interviews with mothers, hospital medical record data on the mothers and their newborns, and information about the neighborhood in which the mother resides. We address the potential endogeneity of prenatal drug use. Depending on how prenatal drug use is measured, we find that it increases low birth weight by 4-6 percentage points and that it increases the likelihood of an abnormal infant health condition by 7-12 percentage points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-384
Number of pages24
JournalHealth Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy


  • Infant health
  • Low birth weight
  • Prenatal drug use


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