Economic downturns and infant health

Rob Alessie, Viola Angelini, Jochen O. Mierau, Laura Viluma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We study the gender-specific impact of macroeconomic conditions around birth on infant health. We use a sample of over 50,000 respondents born between 1950 and 1994 from Lifelines—a cohort and biobank from the northern Netherlands. Our results show that high provincial unemployment rates decrease fertility and lead to a lower birthweight in boys. The negative impact of high unemployment on birthweight is particularly strong for boys born to older mothers and for babies born to smoking mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-171
Number of pages10
JournalEconomics and Human Biology
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018


  • Birthweight
  • Cohort studies
  • Unemployment


Dive into the research topics of 'Economic downturns and infant health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this