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

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Author Info

  • Kesternich, Iris

    ()
    (University of Munich)

  • Siflinger, Bettina

    ()
    (University of Mannheim)

  • Smith, James P.

    ()
    (RAND)

  • Winter, Joachim K.

    ()
    (University of Munich)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the long-run effects of World War II on socio-economic status (SES) and health of older individuals in Europe. Physical and psychological childhood events are important predictors for labor market and health outcomes in adult life, but studies that quantify these effects in large samples that cover entire diverse populations are still rare. We will analyze data from SHARELIFE, a retrospective survey conducted as part of the Survey on Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) in 2009. This survey provides detailed data on events in childhood including those during the war as well as several measures of exposure to war shocks such as experience of dispossession, persecution, combat in local areas, and hunger periods for over 20,000 individuals in 13 European countries. We find that exposure to the war itself, and even more importantly to individual-level shocks caused by the war such as hunger periods, significantly predict old-age outcomes at older ages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6296.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6296

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Keywords: health; war; SES;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Banks, James & Muriel, Alastair & Smith, James P., 2010. "Disease Prevalence, Disease Incidence, and Mortality in the United States and in England," IZA Discussion Papers 4992, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Sven Neelsen & Thomas Stratmann, 2010. "Effects of Prenatal and Early Life Malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek Famine," CESifo Working Paper Series 2994, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Enkelejda Havari & Franco Peracchi, 2011. "Childhood circumstances and adult outcomes: Evidence from World War II," EIEF Working Papers Series 1115, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Aug 2012.
  2. 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, pages 1-4.
  3. 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.
  4. Till Stowasser & Florian Heiss & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter, 2013. "Understanding the SES Gradient in Health Among the Elderly: The Role of Childhood Circumstances," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Discoveries in the Economics of Aging, pages 187-219 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. Mark E. McGovern, 2012. "Don't stress: early life conditions, hypertension and selection into associated risk factors," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 201223, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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