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The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes across Europe

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Author Info

  • Iris Kesternich

    (University of Munich)

  • Bettina Siflinger

    (University of Munich)

  • James P. Smith

    (RAND)

  • Joachim K. Winter

    (University of Munich)

Abstract

We investigate long-run effects of World War II on socioeconomic status and health of older individuals in Europe. We analyze data from SHARELIFE, a retrospective survey conducted as part of SHARE in Europe in 2009. SHARELIFE provides detailed data on events in childhood during and after the war for over 20,000 individuals in thirteen European countries. We construct several measures of war exposure: experience of dispossession, persecution, combat in local areas, and hunger periods. Exposure to war and, more important, to individual-level shocks caused by the war significantly predicts economic and health outcomes at older ages. © 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 103-118

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:96:y:2014:i:1:p:103-118

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Keywords: World War II; SHARELIFE; health; Europe; elderly;

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References

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  1. James Banks & Alastair Muriel & James Smith, 2010. "Disease prevalence, disease incidence, and mortality in the United States and in England," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages S211-S231, March.
  2. Waldinger, Fabian, 2012. "Bombs, Brains, and Science: The Role of Human and Physical Capital for the Creation of Scientific Knowledge," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 78, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Tarek A. Hassan & James A. Robinson, 2010. "Social Structure and Development: A Legacy of the Holocaust in Russia," NBER Working Papers 16083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Neelsen, Sven & Stratmann, Thomas, 2011. "Effects of prenatal and early life malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek famine," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 479-488, May.
  5. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 25-42.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicole Halmdienst & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2013. "Long-Run Effects of Childhood Shocks on Health in Late Adulthood: Evidence from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe," NRN working papers, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria 2013-01, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Smith, James P. & Delaney, Liam, 2013. "Acquiring Human Capital through the Generations by Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 7782, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kesternich, Iris & Siflinger, Bettina & Smith, James P. & Winter, Joachim K., 2013. "Individual Behavior as a Pathway between Early-Life Shocks and Adult Health: Evidence from Hunger Episodes in Post-War Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 7713, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Stowasser, Till & Heiss, Florian & McFadden, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2014. "Understanding the SES gradient in health among the elderly: The role of childhood circumstances," Discussion Papers in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 20847, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Jürges, Hendrik, 2013. "Collateral damage: The German food crisis, educational attainment and labor market outcomes of German post-war cohorts," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 286-303.
  6. Tonin, Mirco & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2014. "Are Public Sector Workers Different? Cross-European Evidence from Elderly Workers and Retirees," IZA Discussion Papers 8238, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Enkelejda Havari & Franco Peracchi, 2011. "Childhood circumstances and adult outcomes: Evidence from World War II," EIEF Working Papers Series, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) 1115, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Aug 2012.
  8. Mark E McGovern, 2012. "Don't Stress: Early Life Conditions, Hypertension, and Selection into Associated Risk Factors," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 201227, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  9. Booker, Cara L. & Pudney, Stephen, 2013. "In sickness and in health? Comorbidity in older couples," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-30, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  10. Sarah Gibney & Mark E. McGovern & Erika Sabbath, 2013. "Social Relationships in Later Life: The Role of Childhood Circumstances," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 201319, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  11. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Brandt, Martina & Schröder, Mathis, 2013. "SHARELIFE - One Century of Life Histories in Europe," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-4.

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