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Poverty, low birthweight and brain size

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The outcome of the 2016 US elections has led many to worry about the future of federal welfare programmes. There is already much evidence that early experience pre-ordains life outcomes, and that some interventions can alter this course. Two American papers contribute to this evidence base in different ways.

The first looks at the relationship between the minimum wage and infant mortality (28 days to 1 year) and low birth weight (<2.5 kg), on a state-by state basis (Komro K, et al. Am J Public Health 2016. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303268). The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 (€6.86, …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.