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Being Born Under Adverse Economic Conditions Leads to a Higher Cardiovascular Mortality Rate Later in Life: Evidence Based on Individuals Born at Different Stages of the Business Cycle

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  • Gerard van den Berg

    ()

  • Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter
  • Kaare Christensen

Abstract

We connect the recent medical and economic literatures on the long-run effects of early-life conditions, by analyzing the effects of economic conditions on the individual cardiovascular (CV) mortality rate later in life, using individual data records from the Danish Twin Registry covering births since the 1870s and including the cause of death. To capture exogenous variation of conditions early in life we use the state of the business cycle around birth. We find a significant negative effect of economic conditions early in life on the individual CV mortality rate at higher ages. There is no effect on the cancer-specific mortality rate. From variation within and between monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs born under different conditions we conclude that the fate of an individual is more strongly determined by genetic and household-environmental factors if early-life conditions are poor. Individual-specific qualities come more to fruition if the starting position in life is better.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s13524-011-0021-8
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Demography.

Volume (Year): 48 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 507-530

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Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:48:y:2011:i:2:p:507-530

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Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/13524

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Related research

Keywords: Longevity; Genetic determinants; Health; Recession; Developmental origins;

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References

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  1. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & López, Marta, 2006. "Inequality in Individual Mortality and Economic Conditions Earlier in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 2425, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2000. "Duration Models: Specification, Identification, and Multiple Durations," MPRA Paper 9446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2006. "From the cradle to the labor market? The effect of birth weight on adult outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19425, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Ingrid Henriksen & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2005. "Incentives, technology and the shift to year-round dairying in late nineteenth-century Denmark -super-1 ," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 58(3), pages 520-554, 08.
  6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
  8. Fogel, Robert William, 1993. "New findings on secular trends in nutrition and mortality: Some implications for population theory," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 433-481 Elsevier.
  9. Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2006. "Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 290-302, March.
  10. Ingrid Henriksen & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2003. "Incentives, Technology and the Shift to Year-Round Dairying in Late 19th Century Denmark," Trinity Economics Papers 200311, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," IZA Discussion Papers 4001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gagnon, Alain & Bohnert, Nora, 2012. "Early life socioeconomic conditions in rural areas and old-age mortality in twentieth-century Quebec," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1497-1504.
  3. Mikko Myrskylä, 2010. "The effects of shocks in early life mortality on later life expectancy and mortality compression: A cohort analysis," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(12), pages 289-320, March.
  4. Brandt, Martina & Deindl, Christian & Hank, Karsten, 2012. "Tracing the origins of successful aging: The role of childhood conditions and social inequality in explaining later life health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1418-1425.
  5. Bhalotra, Sonia & Rawlings, Samantha B., 2011. "Intergenerational persistence in health in developing countries: The penalty of gender inequality?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 286-299.
  6. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Deeg, Dorly J.H. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France, 2010. "The role of early-life conditions in the cognitive decline due to adverse events later in life," Working Paper Series 2010:10, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. Schaan, Barbara, 2014. "The interaction of family background and personal education on depressive symptoms in later life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 94-102.

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