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The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes across Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Iris Kesternich

    (University of Munich)

  • Bettina Siflinger

    (University of Munich)

  • James P. Smith

    (RAND)

  • Joachim K. Winter

    (University of Munich)

Abstract

We investigate long-run effects of World War II on socioeconomic status and health of older individuals in Europe. We analyze data from SHARELIFE, a retrospective survey conducted as part of SHARE in Europe in 2009. SHARELIFE provides detailed data on events in childhood during and after the war for over 20,000 individuals in thirteen European countries. We construct several measures of war exposure: experience of dispossession, persecution, combat in local areas, and hunger periods. Exposure to war and, more important, to individual-level shocks caused by the war significantly predicts economic and health outcomes at older ages. © 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Iris Kesternich & Bettina Siflinger & James P. Smith & Joachim K. Winter, 2014. "The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes across Europe," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 103-118, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:96:y:2014:i:1:p:103-118
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Tarek A. Hassan & James A. Robinson, 2011. "Social Structure and Development: A Legacy of the Holocaust in Russia," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 895-946.
    2. Fabian Waldinger, 2016. "Bombs, Brains, and Science: The Role of Human and Physical Capital for the Creation of Scientific Knowledge," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 811-831.
    3. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2011. "The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison," MEA discussion paper series 11245, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    4. Neelsen, Sven & Stratmann, Thomas, 2011. "Effects of prenatal and early life malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek famine," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 479-488.
    5. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 25-42.
    6. James Banks & Alastair Muriel & James Smith, 2010. "Disease prevalence, disease incidence, and mortality in the United States and in England," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 211-231, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    World War II; SHARELIFE; health; Europe; elderly;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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