Three Essays on Pre-natal Experiences and Human capital accumulation

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2020

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This dissertation combines three essays that explore how pregnant women’s exposure to social and physical stressors affect human capital at it earliest stage, in utero. Informed by theoretical groundwork adopted from medical and epidemiological literature and applying quasi experimental methods to population-representative data, this work rigorously examines the impact of risk factors for which policy in the form of regulation is the main institutional instrument on newborns’ health and survival. I begin with a chapter that evaluates the introduction of alcohol-related policies in a large metropolitan area in Brazil. The staggered adoption over the area permits identifying the positive causal effects of these policies on fetal survival. The second chapter quantifies the adverse effect of air pollution on newborns’ health using the meteorological phenomenon of thermal inversion formation to disentangle the impact of pollution from the role of economic conditions. The third chapter investigates the consequences of immigration enforcement in the U.S. on the birth outcomes of in utero children for likely unauthorized families.

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Tome, Romina (2020). Three Essays on Pre-natal Experiences and Human capital accumulation. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20908.

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