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The scourge of Asian Flu: in utero exposure to pandemic influenza and the development of a cohort of British children

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  • Elaine Kelly

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    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines the impact of in utero exposure to the Asian influenza pandemic of 1957 upon physical and cognitive development in childhood. Outcome data is provided by the National Child Development Study (NCDS), a panel study of a cohort of British children who were all potentially exposed in the womb. Epidemic effects are identified using geographic variation in a surrogate measure of the epidemic. Results indicate significant detrimental effects of the epidemic upon birth weight and height at 7 and 11, but only for the offspring of mother's with certain health characteristics. By contrast, the impact of the epidemic on childhood cognitive test scores is more general: test scores are reduced at the mean, and effects remain constant across maternal health and socioeconomic indicators. Taken together, our results point to multiple channels linking foetal health shocks to childhood outcomes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W09/17.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:09/17

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    Related research

    Keywords: NCDS; foetal origins; birth weight; influenza;

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    Cited by:
    1. Neelsen, Sven & Stratmann, Thomas, 2012. "Long-run effects of fetal influenza exposure: Evidence from Switzerland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 58-66.
    2. Samantha Rawlings, 2012. "Scarring and Selection Effects of Epidemic Malaria on Human Capital," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2012-01, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    3. Mansour, Hani & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Armed conflict and birth weight: Evidence from the al-Aqsa Intifada," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 190-199.
    4. Lee, Chulhee, 2014. "In utero exposure to the Korean War and its long-term effects on socioeconomic and health outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 76-93.
    5. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2011. "Estimating the relation between health and education: What do we know and what do we need to know?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 778-791, October.
    6. repec:rdg:wpaper:em-dp2012-01 is not listed on IDEAS

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