NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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The Returns to Early-life Interventions for Very Low Birth Weight Children

Eric Chyn, Samantha Gold, Justine S. Hastings

NBER Working Paper No. 25753
Issued in April 2019, Revised in August 2019
NBER Program(s):The Program on Children, The Education Program, The Health Care Program, The Health Economics Program, The Public Economics Program

We use comprehensive administrative data from Rhode Island to measure the impact of early-life interventions for low birth weight newborns on later-life outcomes. We use a regression discontinuity design based on the 1,500-gram threshold for Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) status. We show that threshold crossing causes more intense in-hospital care, in line with prior studies. Threshold crossing also causes a 0.34 standard deviation increase in test scores in elementary and middle school, a 17.1 percentage point increase in the probability of college enrollment, and $66,997 decrease in social program expenditures by age 14. We explore potential mechanisms driving these impacts.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25753

 
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