Parental job loss and infant health

J Health Econ. 2011 Sep;30(5):869-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Jul 12.


This paper is the first to explore the extent to which the health effects of job displacement extend to the children of displaced workers. Using detailed work and fertility histories from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, estimates are identified by comparing the outcomes of children born after a displacement to the outcomes of those born before. This analysis reveals that husbands' job losses have significant negative effects on infant health. They reduce birth weights by approximately four and a half percent with suggestive evidence that the effect is concentrated on the lower half of the birth weight distribution.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight*
  • Fathers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Infant Welfare*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data*