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Florencia Torche, Stanford University

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Infant Health: A Population-Level Analysis
When Oct 18, 2021
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Updated to ONLINE ONLY
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

The COVID pandemic has shifted many dimensions of population welfare. We study the implications for birth outcomes, through which the pandemic could have lasting, intergenerational effects. We explore a puzzling pattern: At the individual level, COVID-19 infection during pregnancy has been linked with increased risk of preterm birth. Yet at the population level, preterm birth rates declined with the arrival of the pandemic. We consider the coexistence of these patterns by investigating how they intersect with race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic advantage. We find that trends in preterm birth are deeply stratified: The reduction in preterm birth mostly benefited advantaged populations, while the risk of COVID infection during pregnancy was highest among ethnic minorities living in disadvantaged communities; this infection risk resulted in an increase in the preterm birth rate for this population. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to exacerbate U.S. inequality in multiple ways. Our evidence suggests a particularly concerning, enduring pathway: the legacy of prenatal exposure to an unequal pandemic environment.

About the Speaker

Florencia Torche is a social scientist with expertise in social demography and social stratification. Professor Torche’s scholarship examines inequality dynamics including intergenerational mobility, disparities in educational attainment, and assortative mating. Her research also examines the influence of early-life exposures –starting before birth– on individual wellbeing and inequality. Professor Torche is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2020. 

Note: This session will now be held via Zoom instead of in-person.  Registration Link - Zoom. Upon registration you will receive an automatically generated email with the direct link for the seminar.

COVID-19 Information

MPRC public events for Fall 2021 will be a mix of in person and  online via Zoom(One or the other, not hybrid).  For in person events, all event attendees must follow current protocols

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