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Long-Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in Nineteenth-Century France

Author

Listed:
  • Abhijit Banerjee

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Esther Duflo

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Gilles Postel-Vinay

    (INRA and EHESS)

  • Tim Watts

    (NERA)

Abstract

Between 1863 and 1890, phylloxera destroyed 40% of French vineyards. Using the regional variation in the timing of this shock, we identify and examine the effects on adult height, health, and life expectancy of children born in the years and regions affected by the phylloxera. The shock decreased long-run height, but it did not affect other dimensions of health, including life expectancy. We find that those born in affected regions were about 1.8 millimeters shorter than others at age 20, a significant effect since average heights grew by only 2 centimeters in the entire nineteenth century. (c) 2010 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Tim Watts, 2010. "Long-Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in Nineteenth-Century France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 714-728, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:92:y:2010:i:4:p:714-728
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