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Source: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Resulting in 15 citations.
1. Biddle, Gary C.
Shapiro, David
Pay Differentials by Class of Worker: A Comparison of Hourly Earnings in the Public and Private Sectors
Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, 1975
Cohort(s): Older Men
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Blue-Collar Jobs; Occupations; Private Sector; Public Sector; Unions; Wage Differentials; Wages; White Collar Jobs

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Using data from the NLS of Older Men, this paper examines wage differentials by class of worker, occupational group, and race for 1966 and 1971. These differentials vary both across groups and over time. Making use of data on unionization from the 1971 survey, the study compares union wage effects in the public sector to those in the private sector. In general, it appears that the union wage effect in the public sector is comparable to or somewhat smaller than that in the private sector. Implications are drawn for public policy regarding unionization and strikes in the public sector.
Bibliography Citation
Biddle, Gary C. and David Shapiro. "Pay Differentials by Class of Worker: A Comparison of Hourly Earnings in the Public and Private Sectors." Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, 1975.
2. Fang, Muriel Z.
Essays in Health Economics
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, 2012
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Health; Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (AddHealth); Parental Investments; Pre/post Natal Behavior; Pre/post Natal Health Care; Racial Differences; Siblings

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

My dissertation consists of three essays that use different types of variation across the life cycle to study health outcomes and behaviors in children and young adults. The first essay examines how child health is shaped by parental investments using data from Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (CNLSY79). Substantial empirical evidence suggests that early parental investments have long term consequences for physical health. The developmental plasticity theory suggests that children are most sensitive to inputs received during their early years. I estimate a value-added child health production function with time varying rates of return to investment in order to investigate whether the rates of return are highest during early stages of a child's life. I address measurement error using a multiple-indicator multiple-cause (MIMIC) model with a linear structural relationship in which concurrent measurements act as instrumental variables. The results indicate that the rate of return to investment is higher during the prenatal and infancy periods than during subsequent periods of childhood. I also explore racial differences in the production function and find that rates of return to investment are lower for black children than for whites. This finding, coupled with the fact that black children are more likely to be born premature and with low birthweight, contributes to an understanding of how racial disparity in health at birth persists through childhood.
Bibliography Citation
Fang, Muriel Z. Essays in Health Economics. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, 2012.
3. Feng, Peihong
Reagan, Patricia Benton
The Child Asthma Epidemic: Consequences for Women's Labor Market Behavior
Working Paper, Department of Economic, The Ohio State University, 2003.
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC); Asthma; Child Health; Children, Illness; Disability; Maternal Employment

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

By 1995, almost 22% of disabled children were disabled by asthma, making asthma the single most common cause of childhood disability in the United States. The presence of a child disabled by asthma poses unique barriers to the labor market activity of single mothers, because the symptoms are episodic and particularly disruptive of children's routine activities. This paper develops a model that differentiates the effects on maternal labor market activity of asthma from other conditions that lead to childhood disability. The model predicts differential responses of single and married mothers. These hypotheses are tested on a longitudinal sample of mothers. We find that a child disabled by asthma reduces labor force participation of single mothers by over 7% and reduces desired annual hours by 255. No statistically significant effects are found for single mothers of children disabled by other conditions. Married mothers have similar responses regardless of the type of disability. A child disabled for any reason reduces married mother's labor force participation by a modest 2.5%.
Bibliography Citation
Feng, Peihong and Patricia Benton Reagan. "The Child Asthma Epidemic: Consequences for Women's Labor Market Behavior." Working Paper, Department of Economic, The Ohio State University, 2003..
4. Haurin, Donald R.
Hendershott, Patric H.
Kim, Dongwook
Real Rents and Household Formation: The Effect of the Tax Reform Act of 1986
Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus OH, 1990
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Assets; Family Income; Household Models; Household Structure; Income; Marital Status; Residence; Taxes; Wages

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Although the economic literature has analyzed some components of the headship decision, study of household formation has been primarily in the realm of demography. The authors begin this analysis with a pure demographic model and expand it to include additional determinants of the decision to remain with parents or not, to marry or not, and to live with a group or separately. The results, based on a sample of 2355 youth in their twenties from the NLSY, indicate that (1) rental costs, wealth, and the potential wage that a youth could earn are important variables in explaining the outcomes of these choices and (2) inclusion of the economic variables significantly changes the estimated impacts of the demographic variables. One insight that the expanded economic model allows is the prediction that some public policies will affect headship rates of youth. This prediction is of interest because choices of living arrangements often have implications for demands upon public services and housing. Using as an example the 1986 Tax Reform Act, the authors focus on a single outcome: the expectation of higher rental costs. If rentals rise by 20 percent, as predicted by some tax analysts, there will be an estimated half million reduction in the number of 1986 households formed by youth ages 21 to 29.
Bibliography Citation
Haurin, Donald R., Patric H. Hendershott and Dongwook Kim. "Real Rents and Household Formation: The Effect of the Tax Reform Act of 1986." Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus OH, 1990.
5. Haurin, Donald R.
Hendershott, Patric H.
Kim, Dongwook
Tenure Choice of American Youth
Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus OH, 1990
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Family Income; Home Ownership; Household Structure; Marital Status; Simultaneity; Wages; Wealth

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

While there seems to be no end to estimates of housing tenure determinants, prior studies have not accounted for the simultaneity of tenure choice with household formation, labor supply or the marriage decision. Estimates presented here are superior to those in the literature both because the authors address these issues and because they better measure the cost of owning relative to renting. Accounting for simultaneity with the household formation and labor supply decisions matter. Using a household's predicted wage rate rather than its observed income doubles the response of tenure choice to the price of owning relative to renting. Including household formation selectivity correction variables cuts the response of tenure choice to the predicted wage by 25 percent. Moreover, the impact of variations in demographic variables on tenure choice is sharply reduced after correcting for selectivity bias.
Bibliography Citation
Haurin, Donald R., Patric H. Hendershott and Dongwook Kim. "Tenure Choice of American Youth." Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, Columbus OH, 1990.
6. Jekielek, Susan Marie
Non-Standard Work Hours and the Relationship Quality of Dual-Earner Parents
Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University, 2003. DAI-A 64/06, p. 2272, Dec 2003.
Also: http://www.ohiolink.edu.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi/Jekielek%20Susan%20Marie.pdf?acc_num=osu1048796449
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Marital Satisfaction/Quality; Marital Stability; Parenthood; Part-Time Work; Shift Workers; Work Hours

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

In this research, I explore the association between non-standard work hours and marital quality for dual-earner couples with children. I focus on one main question: Do the non-standard work hours of one spouse increase relationship conflict and decrease positive relationship interaction? I examine this question critically by addressing a number of additional questions: (1) Do specific types of non-standard work hours make couples more vulnerable? (2) Do non-standard work schedules cause specific types of conflict? (3) Does the presence of more and younger children cause the influence of nonstandard schedules to be more negative? I additionally address alternative explanations for the observed associations between non-standard work schedules, on the one hand, and relationship quality, on the other hand. To address my research questions I analyze a sample of 1,016 employed respondents from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth cohort (NLSY79) who were living with children 18 or younger at the time of the 1996 survey round. All respondents were married or cohabiting with partners employed at least 30 hours a week. Overall, non-standard work schedules are associated with higher levels of conflict and lower levels of positive interaction. I do not find significant differences in relationship quality for those who work evening compared to night shifts, or regular compared to irregular shifts. There is more support for the possibility that nonstandard work schedules hurt couples more than they help couples. While they do not argue significantly more about children, split-shift couples do argue significantly more about both chores and affection compared to couples that both work day shifts, suggesting that gains in regards to split-shift schedules as a childcare option may be diminished by the effect of these schedules on the quality of couples' relationships. In fact, the association between split-shift schedules and arguments about chores and responsibilities is quite dynamic. Finally, it appears that nonstandard work schedules are associated with deterioration in relationship quality over time. It also appears that some couples are more amenable to working opposing schedules because their relationships were lower in quality to start out with, and yet they continue to experience deterioration in their relationship quality.
Bibliography Citation
Jekielek, Susan Marie. Non-Standard Work Hours and the Relationship Quality of Dual-Earner Parents. Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University, 2003. DAI-A 64/06, p. 2272, Dec 2003..
7. Light, Audrey L.
Nandi, Alita
Identifying Race and Ethnicity in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth
Working Paper, Department of Economics and Center for Human Resource Research, The Ohio State University (February 2004), revision, November 2005
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Ethnic Groups/Ethnicity; Ethnic Studies; Racial Studies

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

The 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth is among the few surveys to provide multiple reports on respondents' race and ethnicity. Respondents were initially classified as Hispanic, black, or "other" on the basis of data collected during 1978 screener interviews. Respondents subsequently self-reported their "origin or descent" in 1979, and their race and Hispanic origin in 2002; the latter questions conform to the federal standards adopted in 1997 and used in the 2000 census. We use these data to (a) assess the size and nature of the multiracial population, (b) measure the degree of consistency among these alternative race-related variables, and (c) devise a number of alternative race/ethnicity taxonomies and determine which does the best job of explaining variation in log-wages. A key finding is that the explanatory power of race and ethnicity variables improves considerably when we cross-classify respondents by race and Hispanic origin. Little information is lost when multiracial respondents are assigned to one of their reported race categories because they make up only 1.3% of the sample.
Bibliography Citation
Light, Audrey L. and Alita Nandi. "Identifying Race and Ethnicity in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth." Working Paper, Department of Economics and Center for Human Resource Research, The Ohio State University (February 2004), revision, November 2005.
8. Malik, Garima
Intra-Familial Interactions and Juvenile Substance Use: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the Children of NLSY-79
Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, August 2001
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Cigarette Use (see Smoking); Drug Use; Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); Parenthood

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This paper examines the interactions between parents and children in an incentive model framework and attempts to make predictions about the importance of parenting regimes for substance use in households. Thus the study aims to understand what is the role of parent-child interactions in the substance use by young children focusing on smoking cigarettes and alcohol consumption. The results of the paper show that parenting regime is not significant in predicting substance abuse for the children in the sample. The paper does establish the importance of family background factors in determining substance use, including parental substance use.
Bibliography Citation
Malik, Garima. "Intra-Familial Interactions and Juvenile Substance Use: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the Children of NLSY-79." Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, August 2001.
9. Malik, Garima
The Role of Parenting Style in Child Substance Use
Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, December 18, 2002
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Alcohol Use; Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS); Drug Use; Modeling, Probit; Parent-Child Relationship/Closeness; Parental Influences; Parenting Skills/Styles; Parents, Behavior; Smoking (see Cigarette Use); Substance Use

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Strategic interactions between parents and children are potentially important in predicting the behaviour of the children. This dissertation adopts an inter-disciplinary approach drawing from development psychology and the economics of incentives to develop and estimate a model of the effects of parenting styles on the psychosocial process leading to substance use by children ages 10-14. The dissertation uses the Baumrind classification of authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and disengaged parents to construct parenting styles according to the dimensions of demandingness and responsiveness. Principal component analysis is used to develop indices of these two dimensions from a series of categorical responses to questions about usual parental reactions to misbehaviour. Scaling technique is used to check the coefficients for the degree of inter-item consistency. A game theoretic model is developed that captures repeated interactions between parents and children. The prediction of the model that disincentive effects for child substance use can be ranked from greatest to least as parenting style moves from Authoritative to Authoritarian to Permissive to Disengaged is tested using the NLSY-79 Mother-Child data set. Specifically, a probit model is estimated separately for smoking and alcohol use taking parenting style as exogenous. The results of the dissertation show that parenting style is significant and that including these variables leads to a more complete model of behaviour. Disengaged parents are most likely to have children smoking and consuming alcohol followed by Authoritarian and Authoritative and Permissive Parents. The dissertation also establishes the importance of family background factors, particularly parental substance use, in determining child substance use. Thus the expected utility theory in the standard economic model can be supplemented with psychological variables in order to provide an empirical model of behavior. This study examines the role of parenting styles using an economic model and a new methodology to enable an understanding of the psychosocial processes of adolescence and predict substance use by young children.
Bibliography Citation
Malik, Garima. "The Role of Parenting Style in Child Substance Use." Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, December 18, 2002.
10. McGee, Andrew Dunstan
Skills, Standards, and Disabilities: How Youth with Learning Disabilities Fare in High School and Beyond
Working Paper, Department of Economics, Ohio State University, January 2010.
Also: http://web.econ.ohio-state.edu/~amcgee/LDhsgradver7_JAN10.pdf
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Behavior Problems Index (BPI); Disability; GED/General Educational Diploma/General Equivalency Degree/General Educational Development; Geographical Variation; High School Completion/Graduates; High School Diploma; Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Math); Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT- Reading); Pearlin Mastery Scale; Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) (see Self-Esteem); Unemployment Rate, Regional

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This study examines the effects of having a learning disability on high school graduation and other post-secondary outcomes. Controlling for skills, personal and family characteristics, school resources and policies, and other factors, I find that youth with learning disabilities are more likely to graduate from high school than their observationally equivalent peers. To examine whether this success is the result of the additional attention and resources devoted to youth with learning disabilities or the lower standards to which they may be held, I study how these youth fare after high school. While I find evidence consistent with youth with learning disabilities acquiring additional skills as a result of the attention and resources devoted to them, my findings strongly suggest that they benefit from being held to lower standard standards in high school.
Bibliography Citation
McGee, Andrew Dunstan. "Skills, Standards, and Disabilities: How Youth with Learning Disabilities Fare in High School and Beyond." Working Paper, Department of Economics, Ohio State University, January 2010.
11. Mustafa, Shoumi
Three Essays on College Enrollment, Completion and Labor Market Returns
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, Ohio State University, 2003.
Also: http://www.ohiolink.edu.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi/Mustafa%20Shoumi.pdf?acc%5Fnum=osu1056376339
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): College Education; College Enrollment; Endogeneity; Financial Assistance; Higher Education; Labor Market Outcomes; Racial Differences; Tuition

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

The Effects of Financial Aid on College Completion
I examine effects of grant aid and education loan amounts on the college completion decision of students attending four-year colleges. The goal is to determine whether a given amount of financial aid reduces the dropout probability, and whether it has differential effects when given as grants versus loans. Using data from the Second Follow-up Survey of the 1994 Beginning Post-secondary Students Longitudinal Study, I estimate a probit model of the college dropout decision, accounting for the endogeneity of grant and loan amounts. My estimates show that grants reduce the dropout probability although loans do not affect individuals' college completion decisions. The result suggests that current federal government policies of promoting loans as the main form of financial aid (in higher education) are not consistent with the stated objective of increasing access to college. Education loans are found to influence college quality choices of meritorious students from low to middle income families.

The Effects of State Characteristic College Enrollment
I examine how state policies on tuition, grant aid and appropriations influence high school graduates' two-year versus four-year college attendance decisions. Using data from 1994-99 October Supplements of the Current Population Survey, I estimate a multinomial logit model of college choice. My estimates show that higher four-year college tuition motivates prospective students to attend two-year colleges. I also find positive effects of two-year college appropriations on two-year college attendance. These results illustrate the on-going interaction of state policies and individual decisions. In recent years, increased earnings of college educated individuals have resulted in large increases in college enrollments. States have adjusted to the enrollment pressure by raising four-year college tuition. In response, students have switched to two-year colleges, requiring states to allocate larger amounts to such colleges.

Reconciling Estimates of Labor Market Returns to College Quality
Rapid increases in the cost of attending higher quality colleges have contributed to a growing literature on the relationship between college quality and student earnings. In a group of nine such studies, analysts find positive earnings effects of college quality but fail to agree on its magnitude. Because these studies differ with respect to a variety of methodological and data related issues, it is not possible to ascertain how each of these differences influences the estimates. I consider a large set of factor that distinguish the studies and examine the sensitivity of the estimates to each of the factors, using two large micro data sets, the First Follow-up Survey of the Baccalaureate and Beyond Study and the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. My estimates show that college quality effects differ between blacks and whites, college graduates and dropouts and also between young and older students. I also find that correcting for the endogeneity of college quality variables increases estimates of college quality effects, implying that costs of attendance constrain individuals' college quality choices.

Bibliography Citation
Mustafa, Shoumi. Three Essays on College Enrollment, Completion and Labor Market Returns. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, Ohio State University, 2003..
12. Nandi, Alita
Essays on the Economics of Marriage [Electronic Resource]
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, 2007.
Also: http://www.ohiolink.edu.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi/Nandi%20Alita.pdf?acc%5Fnum=osu1167179888
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Cohabitation; Education; Household Income; Marriage; Racial Differences; Welfare; Women

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Recent U.S. policies that promote marriage have prompted researchers to reexamine the reasons behind black marriage rates being lower than white marriage rates. In the first essay, "The Role of Education in the Marital Decisions of Blacks and Whites" I ask how much of the black-white marriage gap would be eliminated if racial differences in schooling attainment were reduced. I use data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) to simultaneously estimate schooling and marriage models. I find that increasing the schooling of black men by one year increases the predicted probability of marriage (by age 35) by more than 5%. The estimated effect is much smaller for white men and black women, and it is negative for white women. Using these estimated coefficients, I predict that eliminating black-white differences in schooling (which I simulate by assigning all blacks the mean schooling of their white counterparts) would decrease the gap in marriage probabilities by 17% for men and 4.5% for women. I conclude that public policy designed to increase education can have small but nontrivial effects on the black-white marriage gap. In the second essay, "Women's Economic Gains from Employment, Marriage and Cohabitation" I ask which of the mechanisms--employment, marriage or cohabitation--leads to greater economic gains, especially for women predisposed towards poverty. Using data from the NLSY79, I estimate a fixed-effects model of household income (adjusted for household composition) to assess the within-person gains associated with changes in employment and marital status; I allow the effects of employment on household income to differ for single, cohabiting, and married women. First I predict that the log household income of single, nonemployed, "poor" (those who ever received welfare) women increases by 0.80, if they enter a cohabiting union, 1.04 if they marry, 0.76 if they work part-time (1000 hours/year), and 1.16 if they work full-time (2000 hours/year). Next I find that the expected gains from cohabitation, marriage and employment for nonpoor women are greater than those for their poor counterparts. For any of the transitions, the poor-nonpoor difference in predicted gains declines as the initial employment levels increase.
Bibliography Citation
Nandi, Alita. Essays on the Economics of Marriage [Electronic Resource]. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, 2007..
13. Nandi, Alita
The Role of Education in Marital Decisions of Blacks and Whites
Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, September 2005
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Marriage; Modeling; Racial Differences; Schooling

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Recent U.S. policies that promote marriage have prompted researchers to reexamine the reasons for the dramatic difference in marriage rates of blacks and whites. Black marriage rates are more than 20% lower than white marriage rates. In this paper, I examine how much of the black-white marriage gap is due to differences in their schooling. In particular, I ask how much of the marriage gap would be eliminated if the racial differences in schooling attainment were reduced. I use data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to simultaneously estimate schooling and marriage models. I find that increasing the schooling of black men by one year increases the predicted probability of marriage (by age 35) by more than 5%. The estimated effect is much smaller for white men and black women, and it is negative for white women. Using these estimated schooling coefficients, I predict that elimination of black-white differences in schooling (which I simulate by assigning all blacks the mean schooling of their white counterparts) would decrease the gap in marriage probabilities by 17% for men and 4.5% for women. I conclude that public policy designed to increase education can have small but nontrivial effects to increase black marriage rates.
Bibliography Citation
Nandi, Alita. "The Role of Education in Marital Decisions of Blacks and Whites." Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, September 2005.
14. Reagan, Patricia Benton
Salsberry, Pamela J.
Black/White Differences in Birthweight: Broadening the Social Context
Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, 2003
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC); Birthweight; Neighborhood Effects; Poverty; Welfare

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

The Black/White difference in birthweight is no smaller today than it was one hundred years ago. Recent studies suggest a direct association between neighborhood poverty rates and birthweight, concluding that understanding these multilevel processes may hold a key to understanding this difference. Moreover, other research on cardiovascular disease suggests that the contextual influence may extend beyond the neighborhood to include both state and regional influences. In this paper we report on a study done to evaluate the quantitative importance of the broader social context in explaining Black/White difference in birthweight. We develop measures of social context, broadly defined to include neighborhood non-poverty rates, maximum potential state AFDC/TANF benefit level for a family of four, and regional income inequality. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 is used to implement these analyses, supplemented with Census data, state-level welfare benefits, and regional Gini coefficients. Two analytic approaches are used. We estimate a multi-level model of birthweight that includes individual demographic and biobehavioral variables as well as the social context measures using random effects estimation to control for the panel nature of the data. Second, we employ regression-based decomposition methods to evaluate what fraction of the percentage difference in mean birthweight is explained by differences in the means of observed characteristics. We find that neighborhood poverty rates and income inequality are negatively related to birthweight for both groups. Generosity of the state safety net was positive and significant only for Whites. An increase in income inequality reduces birthweight for both groups, but the magnitude of the effect is twice as large for Blacks. Maternal age effects become insignificant with the addition of the Gini coefficient. The decomposition analysis reveals that individual characteristics explain 28% of the percentage difference in mean birthweight and social contextual variables explain an additional 15% of the difference.
Bibliography Citation
Reagan, Patricia Benton and Pamela J. Salsberry. "Black/White Differences in Birthweight: Broadening the Social Context." Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University, 2003.
15. Reagan, Patricia Benton
Salsberry, Pamela J.
Olsen, Randall J.
Cumulative Relative Deprivation, Race/Ethnicity and Birth Weight
Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University. Revised, February 2006.
Also: http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/reagan/docs/submission_revised.pdf
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Birthweight; Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Health; Cigarette Use (see Smoking); Family Income; Pre-natal Care/Exposure; Racial Differences

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This paper examined three broad theoretical relationships between absolute income, relative deprivation and income inequality and how they affect health. We demonstrated that if the income distribution is log normal, as has been shown to be approximately true in U.S. data, then the three effects cannot be separately identified. We focused on testing for associations between absolute income, cumulative relative deprivation and health, using state level fixed effects to control for time-invariant state differences income inequality.

We provide empirical evidence that relative deprivation but not absolute income was associated with birth weight in full term infants, controlling for tract poverty rate, maternal education, marital status, urban residence and maternal age. The findings provided qualified support for acceptance of an independent association between cumulative relative deprivation and full term infant birth weight, when not controlling for race/ethnicity. Evaluated at mean birth weight, a one standard deviation increase in cumulative relative deprivation led to a decrease in birth weight of approximately 1.5 ounces. We also provided evidence that the association between cumulative relative deprivation and birth weight was confounded by race/ethnicity. The mechanisms emphasized in the literature for a plausible relationship between health and relative deprivation, such as psychosocial stress and diminished purchasing power of a given level of income, were equally plausible as mechanisms through which race effects individual health. We found evidence that two behaviors which reduced birth weight (decreased weight gain during pregnancy and increased smoking during pregnancy) were positively associated with cumulative relative deprivation. The negative impact of cumulative relative deprivation on birth weight operated directly, when not controlling for race/ethnicity, and indirectly through its effect on decreased weight gain during pregnancy and increased smoking during pregnancy.

Bibliography Citation
Reagan, Patricia Benton, Pamela J. Salsberry and Randall J. Olsen. "Cumulative Relative Deprivation, Race/Ethnicity and Birth Weight." Working Paper, Department of Economics, The Ohio State University. Revised, February 2006.