Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Economics

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 131 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Kajal Lahiri

Committee Members

Baris K Yoruk


Child health, Human capital, Infant health, Juvenile delinquency, Mental health, Test score, Birth weight, Prediction of scholastic success, Birth weight, Low, Fetal growth retardation, Academic achievement

Subject Categories

Economics | Labor Economics | Medicine and Health Sciences


The first chapter estimates the effect of fetal growth on academic achievement in childhood using a nested error-component two-stage least squares (NEC2SLS) estimator that draws on internal instruments from alternative dimensions of the multi-level panel data structure of the panel data set. This estimation method increases efficiency by exploiting information on children with no siblings in the sample as well as identifies coefficients for the time-invariant, mother-specific regressors, all of which are not feasible with conventional mother-fixed effects estimation. We estimate modest but statistically significant effects of birth weight and fetal growth rate on math and reading scores, with the effects concentrated in the low-birth-weight range. Infant health measures appear to explain little of the well-documented racial disparity in test scores.