Job Market Paper:


This paper examines the effects of trade liberalization under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on infants’ health outcomes in the US. I explore this question by implementing event studies and difference-in-difference regressions that compare birth outcomes of infants born in different years relative to NAFTA and localities with differential exposure to import competition. Using more than 88M birth records of Natality data, I find significant negative effects on a wide range of birth outcomes. The adverse effects are much larger for infants at the lower tails of birth weight and gestational age distribution. The heterogeneity analysis suggests larger effects for low-educated mothers and female infants. I show that these effects are not driven by selective fertility and preexisting trends in birth outcomes. Additional analyses using a wide range of alternative data sources suggest several potential pathways, including reductions in income-employment, decreases in housing wealth, lower health care utilization, lower health insurance use, and lower-quality health insurance. Finally, I provide discussions on the policy implications of these findings.

Refereed Publications:

Noghanibehambari, H, Fletcher, J (2022) Childhood exposure to birth registration laws and old-age mortality, Health Economics 

Noghanibehambari, H, Engelman, M (2022) Social Insurance Programs and Later-Life Mortality: Evidence from New Deal Relief Spending, Journal of Health Economics (Slides: Here)

Noghanibehambari, H (2022) School Finance Reform and Juvenile Crime, American Law and Economics Review, (Replication materials: Here)

Noghanibehambari, H (2022) Intergenerational Health Effects of Medicaid, Economics & Human Biology (Replication materials: Here)

Salari, M, Javid, R, Noghanibehambari, H (2021) The nexus between CO2 Emissions, Energy Consumption, and Economic Growth in the U.S., Economic Analysis and Policy.

Noghanibehambari, H, Salari, M (2020) Health Benefits of Social Insurance, Health Economics.

Works Under Progress

Dynamic Complementarities between Early- and Late-Life Exposures: Evidence from Social Security Notch (with Jason Fletcher)

In-utero Exposure to 9/11 and Test Scores (with Jason Fletcher)

Early-Life or Late-Life? State-of-Birth versus State-of-Death Determinants of Mortality (with Jason Fletcher)

Economic Conditions and Infant Mortality Rate: Geographically Weighted Regressions Using Historical Bank Deposits (with Jason Fletcher and Wei Xu)

Unemployment Insurance Generosity and Children’s Health Outcomes (with Shubhashrita Basu)

The Effects of Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy: Evidence from Law Changes in Oklahoma (with Travis Roach)

Pollution Shocks, Fetal Deaths, and Infant Health Outcomes (with Travis Roach and Kaj Gittings)