Prenatal Conditions and Postnatal Environments: Impact on Future Economic Status

Director: Anna Aizer
Research Theme: Persistent Disparities in Health and Human Capital
Funding: NSF

Aizer (in collaboration with Laura Stroud and Stephen Buka in Community Health) explores the effects of maternal stress on child outcomes using a unique longitudinal data set. She finds that cortisol levels of low SES mothers are both higher on average and more variable, suggesting that prenatal stress may play an important role in explaining why relatively few children born into poverty are able to escape it as adults. This project will also explore whether and how prenatal conditions and postnatal environments explain black-white differences in human capital accumulation and adult earnings with a focus on the role of stress.