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Critical Periods During Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height Among Immigrant Siblings

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  • van den Berg, G. J
  • Lundborg P
  • Nystedt P
  • Rooth D

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 mostly 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 a certain age 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 important critical periods at ages 5/6 and 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 HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 09/20.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:09/20

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Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
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Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
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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. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Åslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at migration and social integration," Working Paper Series 2009:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2010. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation among US Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 165-92, January.
  4. Sandra E. Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," Working Papers 200718, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
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  6. 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.
  7. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  8. 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..
  9. 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.
  10. Pak, Sunyoung, 2004. "The biological standard of living in the two Koreas," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 511-518, December.
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  12. 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.
  13. Jaume Garcia Villar & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2006. "The evolution of adult height in Europe: A brief note," Economics Working Papers 1002, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2007.
  14. 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.
  15. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2007. "Height, Health and Cognitive Function at Older Ages," Working Papers 1011, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  16. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Gupta, Sumedha, 2011. "The Role of Marriage in the Causal Pathway from Economic Conditions Early in Life to Mortality," IZA Discussion Papers 5454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Åslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at migration and social integration," Working Paper Series 2009:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. 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).
  5. 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).
  6. 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).
  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. 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).
  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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