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A causal analysis of mother’s education on birth inequalities

Bacci, Silvia and Bartolucci, Francesco and Pieroni, Luca (2012): A causal analysis of mother’s education on birth inequalities.

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Abstract

We propose a causal analysis of the mother’s educational level on the health status of the newborn, in terms of gestational weeks and weight. The analysis is based on a finite mixture structural equation model, the parameters of which have a causal interpretation. The model is applied to a dataset of almost ten thausand deliveries collected in an Italian region. The analysis confirms that standard regression overestimates the impact of education on the child health. With respect to the current economic literature, our findings indicate that only high education has positive consequences on child health, implying that policy efforts in education should have benefits for welfare.

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