Immigration policy and birth weight: Positive externalities in Italian law

Luca Salmasi, Luca Pieroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A decade ago, the political party of the Italian center-right voted a law restricting immigration. The law became effective in early 2005, when the Italian parliament approved the decree for its application, but one of its articles, granting amnesty for illegal immigrant workers, became immediately effective in July 2002. As a result, 650,000 immigrants were granted the status of foreign nationals in Italy. In this paper, we examine whether the increase in the prevalence of "regular immigrants" has led to an improvement in health outcomes of babies born to migrant women, measured in terms of birth weight. Two hitherto unexploited birth sample surveys published by Italian Institute of Statistics were used for this study. Our estimates show that regularized immigration reduced the probability of low birth weight.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-139
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Adult
  • Birthweight
  • Difference-in-differences
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Immigrant regularization
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Neonatal health
  • Paternal Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Propensity Score
  • Propensity score matching
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Public Policy
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult


Dive into the research topics of 'Immigration policy and birth weight: Positive externalities in Italian law'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this