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In utero exposure to the Korean War and its long-term effects on socioeconomic and health outcomes

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  • Lee, Chulhee

Abstract

Prenatal exposure to the disruptions caused by the Korean War (1950–1953) negatively affected the individual socioeconomic and health outcomes at older ages. The educational attainment, labor market performance, and other socioeconomic outcomes of the subjects of the 1951 birth cohort, who were in utero during the worst time of the war, were significantly lower in 1990 and in 2000. The results of difference-in-difference estimations suggest that the magnitude of the negative cohort effect is significantly larger for individuals who were more seriously traumatized by the war. Whereas the 1950 male birth cohort exhibited significantly higher disability and mortality rates at older age, the health outcomes of females are unaffected by the war. Different aspects of human capital (e.g., health and cognitive skills) were impaired by in utero exposure to the war, depending on the stage of pregnancy when the negative shocks were experienced.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:76-93
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.11.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fetal origins hypothesis; Maternal stress; Childhood health; Korean War; Socioeconomic outcome;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East

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