Intrauterine stress and male cohort quality: The case of September 11, 2001
Empirical research and the theory of natural selection assert that male mortality more than female mortality responds to ambient stressors in utero. Although population stressors may adversely damage males that survive to birth, the rival culled cohort hypothesis contends that males born during stressful times may exhibit better health than males in other cohorts because fetal loss has “culled” the frailest males. We tested these hypotheses by examining child developmental outcomes in a U.S. birth cohort reportedly affected in utero by the September 11, 2001 attacks. We used as outcomes the Bayley cognitive score and child height-for-age from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort. Previous research demonstrates a male-specific effect of 9/11 on California infants born in December 2001. We, therefore, compared cognition and height of this cohort with males born prior to the 9/11 attacks. We controlled for unobserved confounding across gender, season, and region by using triple-difference regression models (N = 6950). At 24 months, California males born in December scored greater than expected in cognitive ability (coef = 9.55, standard error = 3.37; p = 0.004). We observed no relation with height. Results remained robust to alternative specifications. Findings offer partial support for the culled cohort hypothesis in that we observed greater than expected cognitive scores at two years of age among a cohort of males affected by 9/11 in utero. Contemporary population stressors may induce male-specific culling, thereby resulting in relatively improved development among males that survive to birth.
Volume (Year): 76 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Diane Lauderdale, 2006. "Birth outcomes for Arabic-named women in California before and after September 11," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(1), pages 185-201, February.
- Esther Duflo, 2000.
"Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment,"
NBER Working Papers
7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
- Akresh, Richard & Verwimp, Philip & Bundervoet, Tom, 2007.
"Civil war, crop failure, and child stunting in Rwanda,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4208, The World Bank.
- Richard Akresh & Philip Verwimp & Tom Bundervoet, 2011. "Civil War, Crop Failure, and Child Stunting in Rwanda," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 777 - 810.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:76:y:2013:i:c:p:107-114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.