The Effect of Neighborhood Characteristics on the Health of Pregnant Women and Infants

Vikesh Amin, Central Michigan University
Aparna Lhila, University of Georgia

There is a large cross-sectional literature investigating whether neighborhood conditions affect the health of pregnant women and infants. However, these associations should not be interpreted as causal because they ignore the potential biases due to unobserved factors that may affect both the choice of neighborhoods and health. A handful of studies have attempted to account for these biases but the evidence remains mixed. This research will use nationally-representative, well-regarded data – Vital Statistics and employ neighborhood fixed effects method with the aim of estimating causal effects of neighborhood characteristics – crime incidence, prevalence of alcohol, tobacco, effect the health of pregnant women and infants The results from this research will be of interest to policymakers too as it potentially opens up another avenue, one that is more easily modifiable, for improving health.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Health of Women, Children, and Families