Bozzoli, C., and C. Quintana-Domeque
Review of Economics and Statistics – 96.3 (2014), 550-562

Keywords: argentina, birth weight, trimester of pregnancy, economic crisis, macroeconomic shocks.

Abstract: We investigate how birth weight in Argentina responds to prenatal economic fluctuations during the period from January 2000 to December 2005, and document its pro-cyclicality, in particular with respect to the first and third trimesters of pregnancy. We find evidence that the birth weight of children to low-educated mothers are sensitive to macroeconomic fluctuations during both the first and third trimester of pregnancy, while those of high-educated mothers only react to the first trimester of pregnancy. Our results are consistent with low-educated women facing credit constraints and suffering from both nutritional deprivation and maternal stress, while high-educated women are only affected by stress.