Abstract

We investigate how prenatal economic fluctuations affected birth weight in Argentina during the period from January 2000 to December 2005 and document its procyclicality. We find evidence that the birth weight of children born to low-educated (less than high school) mothers is sensitive to macroeconomic fluctuations during both the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, while those of high-educated (high school or above) mothers react only to the first trimester of pregnancy. Our results are consistent with low-educated women facing credit constraints and suffering from both nutritional deprivation and maternal stress, while high-educated women are affected only by stress.

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