Journal Article

Reducing the Incidence of Low Birth Weight in Low-Income Countries Has Substantial Economic Benefits

Harold Alderman and Jere R. Behrman

in The World Bank Research Observer

Published on behalf of World Bank

Volume 21, issue 1, pages 25-48
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0257-3032
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1564-6971 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wbro/lkj001
Reducing the Incidence of Low Birth Weight in Low-Income Countries Has Substantial Economic Benefits

Show Summary Details

Preview

Reducing the incidence of low birth weight not only lowers infant mortality rates but also has multiple benefits over the life cycle. This study estimates the economic benefits of reducing the incidence of low birth weight in low-income countries, both through lower mortality rates and medical costs and through increased learning and productivity. The estimated economic benefits, under plausible assumptions, are fairly substantial, at about $510 per infant moved from a low-birth-weight status. The estimated gains are primarily from increases in labor productivity (partially through more education) and secondarily from avoiding costs due to infant illness and death. Thus there may be many interventions to reduce the incidence of low birth weight that are warranted purely on the grounds of saving resources or increasing productivity.

Journal Article.  10256 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development Planning and Policy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.