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Examining The Long Term Mortality Effects Of Early Health Shocks


  • Jason M. Fletcher


A growing literature in economics and other disciplines has tied exposure to early health shocks, particularly in utero influenza, to reductions in a variety of socioeconomic and health outcomes over the life course. However, no current evidence exists that examines this health shock on mortality because of lack of available data. This paper uses newly released files from the large, representative National Longitudinal Mortality Study to explore the mortality effects of the 1918 influenza pandemic for those in utero. While the results on socioeconomic outcomes mimic those in the literature, showing reductions in completed schooling and income fifty years following influenza exposure, the findings also suggest no effect on overall mortality or by categories of cause-of-death. These results are counter-intuitive in their contrast with the many reported effects on cardiovascular health as well as the literature linking education with later mortality

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  • Jason M. Fletcher, 2014. "Examining The Long Term Mortality Effects Of Early Health Shocks," Working Papers 14-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:14-19

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Akresh & German Daniel Caruso & Harsha Thirumurthy, 2014. "Medium-Term Health Impacts of Shocks Experienced In Utero and After Birth: Evidence from Detailed Geographic Information on War Exposure," NBER Working Papers 20763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Richard Akresh & German Daniel Caruso & Harsha Thirumurthy, 2016. "Detailed Geographic Information, Conflict Exposure, and Health Impacts," HiCN Working Papers 238, Households in Conflict Network.
    3. Richard Akresh, 2016. "Climate Change, Conflict, and Children," HiCN Working Papers 221, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Jason M. Fletcher, 2018. "New Evidence on the Impacts of Early Exposure to the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on Old-Age Mortality," Working Papers 18-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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