There is limited empirical evidence on whether cash transfers to poor
pregnant women improve children's birth outcomes and potentially
help weaken the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Using a unique
array of program and social security administrative micro-
matched to longitudinal vital statistics in Uruguay, we estimate that
participation in a generous social assistance program led to a sizable
reduction in the incidence of low birthweight. The effect is due
to faster intrauterine growth rather than longer gestational length.
Our findings are consistent with improved maternal nutrition during
pregnancy being a key driver of improved birthweight. (JEL I14, I32,
I38, J13, J16, O15)
Amarante, Verónica, Marco Manacorda, Edward Miguel, and Andrea Vigorito.
"Do Cash Transfers Improve Birth Outcomes? Evidence from Matched Vital Statistics, Program, and Social Security Data."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Health and Inequality
Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration