The Effects of Birth Weight: Does fetal origin really matter for long-run outcomes?

Author Name NAKAMURO Makiko (Keio University) / UZUKI Yuka (National Institute for Educational Policy Research) / INUI Tomohiko (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2013 13-E-035
Research Project Research on Measuring Productivity in the Service Industries and Identifying the Driving Factors for Productivity Growth
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This paper investigates whether birth weight itself causes individuals' future life chances. By using a sample of twins in Japan and controlling for the potential effects of genes and family backgrounds, we examine the effect of birth weight on later educational and economic outcomes. The most important finding is that birth weight has a causal effect on academic achievement at around the age of 15, but not on the highest years of schooling and earnings.

Published: Makiko Nakamuro, Yuka Uzuki, Tomohiko Inui, 2013. "The Effects of Birth Weight: Does Fetal Origin Really Matter for Long-run Outcomes?" Economics Letters, Vol. 121(1), pp. 53-58.