Nutritional deficiency and infants’ health outcomes

Hossein SHAHRI


Abstract. Previous studies show that prenatal shocks to embryos could have adverse impacts on health endowment at birth. Using the universe of birth data and a difference-in-difference-in-difference strategy, I find that exposure to Ramadan during prenatal development has negative birth outcomes. Exposure to a full month of fasting is associated with 96 grams lower birth-weight. These results are robust across specifications and do not appear to be driven by mothers’ selective fertility.

Keywords. Birth weight, Fetal origin hypothesis, Nutrition, Ramadan, Health, Religion.

JEL. I12, J13, Z12, D13.


Birth weight; Fetal origin hypothesis; Nutrition; Ramadan; Health; Religion.

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