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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 J. van den Berg
  • Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2008-023.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2008-023

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Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1864, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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).
  4. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic status and health in childhood: the origins of the gradient," Working Papers 262, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. 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.
  6. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2000. "Duration Models: Specification, Identification, and Multiple Durations," MPRA Paper 9446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  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. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Rawlings, Samantha, 2010. "Intergenerational Persistence in Health in Developing Countries: The Penalty of Gender Inequality?," IZA Discussion Papers 5371, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Adam Isen & Maya Rossin-Slater & W. Reed Walker, 2013. "Every Breath You Take, Every Dollar You'll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970," Working Papers 13-52, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. 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.
  4. 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," IZA Discussion Papers 4780, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," Working Papers 200934, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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