Prior literature shows that crime is negatively associated with infant health. However, these studies are based on extremely violent situations or small geographic areas that are known to have high levels of crime. Little is known about the association in the U.S. as a whole, where mean crime is relatively low. We fill this gap and test the intervening mechanisms. Overall, our estimates are statistically insignificant. But there are some interesting patterns: we find that among white women, crime is associated with fewer births but pregnancies that result in livebirths are, on average, healthier. For black women, crime is associated with worse infant health likely because of increased stress-related behavior like smoking. For Hispanic women, crime is associated with increased prenatal care visits and lower neonatal health, thus suggesting that Hispanic women in high-crime areas may experience complicated pregnancies.
|Journal||Social Science Research|
|State||Submitted - 1800|