LCC Seminar: Gabriella Conti (University College London)
The School of Economics invites you to a Life Course Centre seminar presented by Gabriella Conti (University College London).
(Growing) Up in Smoke? The impact of prenatal and postnatal maternal smoking on child development
Sarah Cattan (Institute for Fiscal Studies) and Francesca Salvati (University College London)
This paper estimates the causal impact of maternal pre- and post-natal smoking on child development using a joint dynamic model of maternal smoking and child outcomes with state dependence and unobserved heterogeneity. Our empirical strategy exploits panel data and instrumental variables and uses data on children of young, disadvantaged first-time mothers in England, amongst whom the likelihood of smoking is almost twice as large as that of the average mother. We show smoking during pregnancy reduces birth weight and gestational age at birth and adversely affects motor and cognitive development at age 1. Maternal smoking one year after birth negatively affects socio-emotional and personal social development, language and ne motor development, as well as problem solving abilities (over and above the effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy). Failing to account for the endogeneity of maternal smoking severely under-estimates the negative impacts of maternal smoking on child development, which is consistent with mothers reducing their smoking to compensate for their children’s frailer endowment.