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Childhood health and sibling outcomes: Nurture Reinforcing nature during the 1918 influenza pandemic

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  • Parman, John

Abstract

This paper uses the 1918 influenza pandemic to test how household resources are reallocated in response to a health shock to one child. Using a new dataset linking census data on childhood household characteristics to adult outcomes from military enlistment records, I show that families with a child in utero during the pandemic shifted resources to the child's older siblings, leading to significantly higher educational attainments for these older siblings. These results suggest that the reallocation of household resources in response to a negative childhood health shock tended to reinforce rather than compensate for differences in endowments across children.

Suggested Citation

  • Parman, John, 2015. "Childhood health and sibling outcomes: Nurture Reinforcing nature during the 1918 influenza pandemic," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 22-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:58:y:2015:i:c:p:22-43
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2015.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John Cawley & Euna Han & Jiyoon Kim & Edward C. Norton, 2019. "Testing for family influences on obesity: The role of genetic nurture," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 937-952, July.
    2. Ran Abramitzky & Roy Mill & Santiago Pérez, 2020. "Linking individuals across historical sources: A fully automated approach," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(2), pages 94-111, April.
    3. Vellore Arthi & John Parman, 2020. "Disease, Downturns, and Wellbeing: Economic History and the Long-Run Impacts of COVID-19," NBER Working Papers 27805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Krzysztof Karbownik & Anthony Wray, 2019. "Long-Run Consequences of Exposure to Natural Disasters," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(3), pages 949-1007.
    5. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson & James J. Feigenbaum & Santiago Pérez, 2019. "Automated Linking of Historical Data," NBER Working Papers 25825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Zachary Ward, 2016. "The Role of English Fluency in Migrant Assimilation: Evidence from United States History," CEH Discussion Papers 049, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    7. Victor Gay, 2020. "TSE Inaugural Lecture 2020: What Can History Teach Us About the Potential Consequences of COVID-19?," Post-Print hal-02931899, HAL.
    8. Peter Savelyev & Benjamin Ward & Bob Krueger & Matthew McGue, 2020. "Health Endowments, Schooling Allocation in the Family, and Longevity: Evidence from US Twins," Working Papers 2020-040, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    9. Brian Beach & Karen Clay & Martin Saavedra, 2020. "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and its Lessons for COVID-19," Working Papers 2020-15, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    10. Ogasawara, Kota, 2017. "Persistence of pandemic influenza on the development of children: Evidence from industrializing Japan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 43-53.
    11. Brandon J. Restrepo, 2016. "Parental investment responses to a low birth weight outcome: who compensates and who reinforces?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 969-989, October.
    12. Cools, Angela & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2017. "Sibling Gender Composition and Women's Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 11001, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Brian Beach & Karen Clay & Martin H. Saavedra, 2020. "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and its Lessons for COVID-19," NBER Working Papers 27673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Ran Abramitzky, 2015. "Economics and the Modern Economic Historian," NBER Working Papers 21636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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