Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.

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Session Overview
D06: Children
Thursday, 19/Aug/2021:
10:45am - 12:15pm

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10:45am - 11:07am

Postnatal Maternal Mental Health and Family Outcomes

Miriam Wüst1, Jonas Hirani2

1University of Copenhagen; 2VIVE

Postnatal maternal mental health problems are wide-spread and understanding their impacts on health, parenting decisions and economic outcomes for mothers and fathers is instrumental for policy. This project explores the short-run impact of maternal postnatal mental health issues on family well-being. It exploits a new large data source linking administrative data on all births in Denmark to records from the universal nurse home visiting program. These records contain detailed information on postnatal mental health issues for mothers, breastfeeding behavior, and infant development in the first year of life. In preliminary analyses we exploit variation in maternal health issues across siblings to show that poor mental health at two months after birth increases uptake of both nurse care, GP care and specialist care for mothers but there are no spillovers to fathers. We document that poor maternal mental health impacts breastfeeding negatively. We discuss threats to identification and propose alleys for future research.

Wüst-Postnatal Maternal Mental Health and Family Outcomes-455.pdf

11:07am - 11:30am

Teen Antidepressant Use and Academic Achievement

Sonia Bhalotra1,5, N. Meltem Daysal2,5,6, Nis Lydiksen3,4, Mircea Trandafir3,5

1University of Essex; 2University of Copenhagen; 3University of Southern Denmark; 4VIVE; 5IZA; 6CEBI

We investigate the effects of antidepressant use during adolescence on the educational outcomes of treated children. Using the propensity of the first treating specialist to prescribe antidepressants to other children as instrument, we find large and statistically significant benefits from treatment with antidepressants on test scores, especially math. Although imprecise, our findings suggest that girls benefit more than boys from the pharmaceutical treatment of emotional disorders.

Bhalotra-Teen Antidepressant Use and Academic Achievement-506.pdf

11:30am - 11:52am

Welfare Reform: Consequences for the Children

Marianne Simonsen1, Lars Skipper1, Jeff Smith2

1Aarhus University, Denmark; 2University of Wisconsin-Madison

This paper uses register-based data to analyze the consequences of a recent major Danish welfare reform for child human capital and well-being. In addition to work requirements, the reform introduced an upper limit on welfare benefits. Our strategy compares individuals on welfare at the time of reform announcement before and after the implementation of the reform with the development in outcomes for the group of individuals on welfare exactly one year prior. Mothers’ propensity to receive welfare decreased only slightly as a consequence of the reform and the reform only caused a small increase in labor market participation. We then show small but negative effects on children’s school well-being, as measured by individual-level nationally administered well-being surveys and small increases in absence from school because of the reform. Short-run child academic performance, in contrast, was not affected by the reform.

Simonsen-Welfare Reform-458.pdf

11:52am - 12:15pm

Causes and Consequences of Early Childhood Infectious Disease

Meltem Daysal1,4,5, Hui Ding2, Maya Rossin-Slater2,5,6, Hannes Schwandt3,5,6,7

1University of Copenhagen; 2Stanford University; 3Northwestern University; 4CEBI; 5IZA; 6NBER; 7CEPR

Infectious diseases pose an important public health concern. This paper explores the causes and consequences of infectious diseases, focusing on a widely recognized “disease hub” in the population: families with young children. In the first part of the paper, we analyze sibling pairs in Danish register data and document substantially higher rates of respiratory diseases during the first year of life for second-born children than their first-born counterparts during the same stage of life. The patterns in the data suggest the older sibling brings the diseases home which then infect the younger sibling. In the second part of the paper, we construct a disease index at the municipality level to obtain exogenous variation in infectious disease exposure which allows to measure causal impacts on long-term outcomes. We find that higher rates of infectious diseases during infancy have negative impacts on educational and labor market outcomes in young adulthood.

Daysal-Causes and Consequences of Early Childhood Infectious Disease-500.pdf

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