Long-Term Effects of Ramadan Fasting during Pregnancy on Children's Labor Market Outcomes: A Siblings Methodology Approach with Evidence from Indonesia

Muhammad Majid, University of California, Riverside

This paper studies the long term effects of maternal fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. By exploiting exogenous variation in timing of Ramadan and timing of birth, including within family members, I compare outcomes for those potentially exposed to their mothers fasting to those not exposed. Using data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey(IFLS) Wave 3, I find that those potentially exposed work fewer hours and are more likely to be self-employed with disproportionate effects on females and rural borns. Though those exposed have worse adult general health, adult health does not seem to be an important channel through which exposure affects labor supply outcomes. When family fixed effects are used, the OLS estimates increase in magnitude suggesting that time invariant family levels co-variates are not explaining these results.

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Presented in Session 186: Life Course Approaches to Health and Mortality