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Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over? Long-Term Effects of In Utero Influenza Exposure in the Post-1940 U.S. Population

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    This paper uses the 1918 influenza pandemic as a natural experiment for testing the fetal origins hypothesis. The pandemic arrived unexpectedly in the fall of 1918 and had largely subsided by January 1919, generating sharp predictions for long-term effects. Data from the 1960–80 decennial U.S. Census indicate that cohorts in utero during the pandemic displayed reduced educational attainment, increased rates of physical disability, lower income, lower socioeconomic status, and higher transfer payments compared with other birth cohorts. These results indicate that investments in fetal health can increase human capital.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/507154
    File Function: main text
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 114 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 672-712

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:114:y:2006:i:4:p:672-712
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic status and health in childhood: the origins of the gradient," Working Papers 262, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2006. "From the cradle to the labor market? The effect of birth weight on adult outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19425, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. John J. Donohue III & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 379-420.
    6. Andrew Noymer & Michel Garenne, 2000. "The 1918 Influenza Epidemic's Effects on Sex Differentials in Mortality in the United States," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 565-581.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2006. "Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 290-302, March.
    9. Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2002. "Were Compulsory Attendance and Child Labor Laws Effective? An Analysis from 1915 to 1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 401-35, October.
    10. Phil Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie Roos, 2006. "Short, Medium, and Long Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis using Siblings and Twins," NBER Working Papers 11998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Dora L. Costa & Joanna N. Lahey, 2005. "Predicting Older Age Mortality Trends," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 487-493, 04/05.
    12. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
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