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Malaria: An early indicator of later disease and work level

  • Hong, Sok Chul
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    This study investigates the effect of early-life exposure to malaria on disease and work level in old age over the past one and a half centuries. Using longitudinal lifetime records of Union Army veterans, I first estimate that exposure to a malarial environment in early life (c.1840) substantially increased the likelihood of having various chronic diseases and not working in old age (c.1900). Second, from data on US cohorts born between 1891 and 1960, I find that those exposed to a higher level of the anti-malaria campaign, which began in 1921, had lower levels of work disability in old age. Third, I seek the same implications for the modern period by linking WHO's country statistics on DALYs among older populations in 2004 to country-level malaria risk in pre-eradication era. In the paper, I discuss possible mechanisms and propose the significance of malaria eradication and early-life conditions from a long-term perspective.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629613000349
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 612-632

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:3:p:612-632
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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    1. Dora L. Costa, 1994. "Health and Labor Force Participation of Older Men, 1900-1991," NBER Working Papers 4929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alan I. Barreca, 2010. "The Long-Term Economic Impact of In Utero and Postnatal Exposure to Malaria," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 865-892.
    3. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2009. "Early Life Health and Cognitive Function in Old Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 104-09, May.
    4. Janet Currie, 2008. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," NBER Working Papers 13987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Dora L. Costa, 1998. "The Evolution of Retirement: An American Economic History, 1880-1990," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number cost98-1, October.
    6. Amar Hamoudi & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1999. "The Changing Global Distribution of Malaria: A Review," CID Working Papers 2, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2006. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 12269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alan D. Lopez & Colin D. Mathers & Majid Ezzati & Dean T. Jamison & Christopher J. L. Murray, 2006. "Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7039.
    9. Chang, Simon & Fleisher, Belton M. & Kim, Seonghoon & Liu, Shi-yung, 2011. "Long-term Effects of Early Childhood Malaria Exposure on Education and Health: Evidence from Colonial Taiwan," IZA Discussion Papers 5526, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Gabriella Conti & James Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "The Education-Health Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 234-38, May.
    11. Hong, Sok Chul, 2011. "Malaria and Economic Productivity: A Longitudinal Analysis of the American Case," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(03), pages 654-671, September.
    12. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding Differences in Health Behaviors by Education," Scholarly Articles 5344195, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    13. Hoyt Bleakley, 2010. "Health, Human Capital, and Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 283-310, 09.
    14. Hong, Sok Chul, 2007. "The Burden of Early Exposure to Malaria in the United States, 1850–1860: Malnutrition and Immune Disorders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 1001-1035, December.
    15. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
    16. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Mårten Palme, 2007. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 13347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2010. "Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 46-71, April.
    18. Venkataramani, Atheendar S., 2012. "Early life exposure to malaria and cognition in adulthood: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 767-780.
    19. Hoyt Bleakley, 2010. "Malaria Eradication in the Americas: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-45, April.
    20. Cutler, David M. & Singhal, Monica & Vogl, Tom & Fung, Winnie & Kremer, Michael R., 2010. "Early-Life Malaria Exposure and Adult Outcomes: Evidence from Malaria Eradication in India," Scholarly Articles 5344529, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    21. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2003. "Disease and Development in Historical Perspective," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 397-405, 04/05.
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