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Critical periods during childhood and adolescence: a study of adult height among immigrant siblings

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Author Info

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    ()
    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Lundborg, Petter

    (Lund University)

  • Nystedt, Paul

    (Nyköping University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    (Linnaeus University Kalmar)

Abstract

We identify the ages that constitute critical periods in children’s development towards their adult health status. For this we use data on families migrating into Sweden from countries that are poorer, with less healthy conditions. Long-run health is proxied by adult height. The relation between siblings’ ages at migration and their heights after age 18 allows us to estimate the causal effect of conditions at certain ages on adult height. Moreover, we compare siblings born outside and within Sweden. We apply fixed-effect methods to a sample of about 9,000 brothers. We effectively exploit that for siblings the migration occurs simultaneously in calendar time but at different developmental stages (ages). We find some evidence for a critical period at age 9. The effects are stronger in families migrating from poorer countries but weaker if the mother is well-educated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011:5.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 14 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2011_005

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Keywords: Early-life conditions; migration; parental education; adult health; height retardation; age; fetal programming; developmental origins;

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References

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  1. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2009. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation Among U.S. Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0913, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Gテクrgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2010. "Stunting and Selection Effects of Famine: A Case Study of the Great Chinese Famine," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 2, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  3. Gerard J. van den Berg & Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter & Kaare Christensen, 2008. "Exogenous determinants of early-life conditions, and mortality later in life," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2008-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  4. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Aslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at Migration and Social Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 4263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Jasmin Kantarevic & Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Birth Order, Educational Attainment, and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
  7. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 499-532, 06.
  8. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Rashad, Inas, 2008. "Height, health, and income in the US, 1984-2005," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 108-126, March.
  10. Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Biological Measures of the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 129-152, Winter.
  11. Mackenbach, J. P., 1992. "Socio-economic health differences in the Netherlands: A review of recent empirical findings," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 213-226, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  14. Garcia, Jaume & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2007. "The evolution of adult height in Europe: A brief note," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 340-349, July.
  15. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Height, Health and Cognitive Function at Older Ages," Working Papers 1007, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  16. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
  17. Pak, Sunyoung, 2004. "The biological standard of living in the two Koreas," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 511-518, December.
  18. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at Migration and Social Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 4263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Brunello, Giorgio & Fabbri, Daniele & Fort, Margherita, 2009. "Years of Schooling, Human Capital and the Body Mass Index of European Females," IZA Discussion Papers 4667, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Akee, Randall K. Q. & Simeonova, Emilia & Copeland, William & Angold, Adrian & Costello, Jane E., 2010. "Does More Money Make You Fat? The Effects of Quasi-Experimental Income Transfers on Adolescent and Young Adult Obesity," IZA Discussion Papers 5135, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Gupta, Sumedha, 2011. "The role of marriage in the causal pathway from economic conditions early in life to mortality," Working Paper Series 2011:23, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  5. Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2009. "The Height Premium in Earnings: The Role of Physical Capacity and Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 4266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Pinger, Pia & Schoch, Johannes, 2011. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of the Causal Effect of Hunger Early in Life on Health Later in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 6110, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Berg, Gerard J. van den & Pinger, Pia & Schoch, Johannes, 2012. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of the Causal Effect of Hunger Early in Life on Health Later in Life," Working Papers 12-02, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  8. Olof Åslund & Anders Böhlmark & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2012. "Childhood and Family Experiences and the Social Integration of Young Migrants," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012003, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  9. Lundborg, Petter & Nordin, Martin & Rooth, Dan Olof, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital. The Role of Skills and Health," Working Papers 2012:22, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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