National Taipei University, Taiwan
Chin-Shyan Chen has completed his PhD from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the former president of Taiwan Society of Health Economics. He currently serves as a professor in the Department of Economics at National Taipei University, Taiwan. He has published more than 50 papers in reputed journals.
The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the antenatal care utilization of pregnant women and their impacts on infant birth outcome in low income families. This study uses 2005 National Health Insurance claims data and birth certificate data in Taiwan. We select women who gave birth in 2005 by dividing the sample to high income families (N=135,246) and low income families (N=68,575).Two-stage regression estimation is used to examine the factors that affect the number of antenatal care visits first and then the relationship between antenatal care utilization and infant birthweight. The results show that pregnant women from low income families receive less antenatal care visits than their counterparts. Infants from low income families also tend to have lower birthweight than their counterparts. Moreover, the number of antenatal care visits is found to be highly significant positively associated with infant birthweight, with an estimate of 57.5. This implies that pregnant women in low income families receive one more antenatal care visit will induce an increase of approximately 57.5g in birthweight for their infants. Those who are young, are less educated, are native and live in the less urbanization areas are more likely to have a low birth weight infant. In order to further improve both pregnant women’s health and their infants’ health, the governments need to put more efforts on providing antenatal care for pregnant women in low income families.