The Long-Run Effects of Cesarean Sections
Costa-Ramón, Ana; Kortelainen, Mika; Rodríguez-González, Ana; Sääksvuori, Lauri (2020)
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University of Wisconsin Press
This paper analyzes the long-term effects of potentially avoidable cesarean sections on children’s health. Using Finnish administrative data, we document that physicians perform more unplanned C-sections during their regular working hours on days that precede a weekend or public holiday and use this exogenous variation as an instrument for C-sections. We supplement our instrumental variables results with a differences-in-differences estimation strategy that exploits variation in birth mode within sibling pairs and across families. Our results suggest that avoidable unplanned C-sections increase the risk of asthma, but do not affect other immune-mediated disorders previously associated with C-sections.