School of Government
Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez
Diagonal Las Torres 2640
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2010||An Economic Model of Amniocentesis Choice|
with V. Joseph Hotz, Seth G. Sanders: w16306
Medical practitioners typically utilize the following protocol when advising pregnant women about testing for the possibility of genetic disorders: Pregnant women over the age of 35 should be tested for Down syndrome and other genetic disorders; for younger women, such tests are discouraged since they can cause a miscarriage. The logic appears compelling. The rate at which amniocentesis causes a miscarriage is constant while genetic disorders rise over a woman's reproductive years. Hence the potential benefit from testing - being able to terminate a fetus with a genetic disorder - rises with maternal age. We argue that this logic is incomplete. While the benefits to testing rise with age, so do the costs. While undergoing an amniocentesis always entails the risk of miscarriage of a healthy...
Published: “ An Economic Model of Amniocentesis Choice , ” (with Eduardo Fajnzylber and Seth G. San d- ers), Advances in Life Course Research , 15 (1), March 2010, 11 - 26.