A Multilevel Analysis of Prenatal Care and Birth Weight in Kenya

The paper investigates the effect of adequate use of prenatal care on birth weight in Kenya. We estimate a multilevel model controlling for potential sample selection bias, potential endogeneity of prenatal care, and potential unobserved heterogeneity. A single–level model is also estimated, for comparison. In estimating the models, we use data from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey of 2008–2009 together with additional administrative data. The results indicate that adequate prenatal care increases birth weight, holding other factors constant. We further observe that the single–level model overstates the effect of prenatal care on birth weight by about 88g.