Lost at the Starting Line? Disparities in Immigrant Women's Birth Outcomes and the Health Status of Their U.S. Citizen Children over Time
Lanlan Xu, Indiana University
This paper uses the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to study the impact of some states’ Medicaid/CHIP expansion to cover all pregnant women and children on immigrant women’s birth outcomes and the health status of their citizen children into their Kindergarten years. I employ a difference-in-differences strategy to estimate the extent to which birth outcomes differ for immigrant women residing in less generous states (relative to other immigrants in generous states) from the birth outcomes experienced by naturalized women. I also examine the impact of prenatal care on the long-term health status of the children. I expect to find that the availability of appropriate prenatal care results in improved birth outcomes for children of immigrants. In addition, the health status of the infants is a strong predictor of the health outcomes of the children through their kindergarten years, although this impact is attenuated by the children’ nutrition and eating habits.