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This paper uses microdata from Brazilian vital statistics natality and mortality data between 2000 and 2010 to estimate the impact of in-utero exposure to local violence -measured by homicide rates- on birth outcomes. Focusing on small communities, where it is more plausible that local homicide rates reflect actual exposure to violence, the analysis shows that exposure to violence during pregnancy leads to deterioration in birth outcomes: one extra homicide during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the probability of low birthweight by around 6 percent. Results are particularly pronounced among children of poorly educated mothers, implying that violence compounds the disadvantage that these children already suffer as a result of their households’ lower socioeconomic status.
This paper examines the causal link between early childhood nutrition and cognition, applying instrumental variables to sibling-differences for a sample of pre-school aged Peruvian children. Child-specific shocks in the form of food price changes and household shocks during a child’s critical developmental period are used as instruments. The analysis shows significant, positive returns to early ch ... (View publication)
Past research has provided evidence of the role of some personal characteristics as risk factors for depression. However, few studies have examined jointly their specific impact and whether country characteristics change the probability of being depressed. In general, this is due to the use of single-country databases. The aim of this paper is to extend previous findings by employing a much larger ... (View publication)
This paper focuses on fertility choices in Brazil, a country where soap operas (novelas) portray families that are much smaller than in reality, to study the effects of television on individual behavior. Using Census data for the period 1970-1991, the paper finds that women living in areas covered by the Globo signal have significantly lower fertility. The effect is strongest for women of lower so ... (View publication)
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