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Long Run Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France

Author

Listed:
  • Banerjee, Abhijit
  • Duflo, Esther
  • Postel-Vinay, Gilles
  • Watts, Tim

Abstract

This paper provides estimates of the long-term effects on height and health of a large income shock experienced in early childhood. Phylloxera, an insect that attacks the roots of grape vines, destroyed 40% of French vineyards between 1863 and 1890, causing major income losses among wine growing families. Because the insects spread slowly from the southern coast of France to the rest of the country, Phylloxera affected different regions in different years. We exploit the regional variation in the timing of this shock to identify its effects. We examine the effects on the 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, at age 20, those born in affected regions were about 1.8 millimetres shorter than others. This estimate implies that children of wine-growing families born when the vines were affected in their regions were 0.6 to 0.9 centimetres shorter than others by age 20. This is a significant effect since average heights grew by only 2 centimetres in the entire 19th century. However, we find no other effect on health, including infant mortality, life expectancy, and morbidity by age 20.

Suggested Citation

  • Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther & Postel-Vinay, Gilles & Watts, Tim, 2007. "Long Run Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France," CEPR Discussion Papers 6140, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6140
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esther Duflo, 2003. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
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    4. Robert Jensen, 2000. "Agricultural Volatility and Investments in Children," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 399-404, May.
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    6. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Steckel, Richard H., 1986. "A Peculiar Population: The Nutrition, Health, and Mortality of American Slaves from Childhood to Maturity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 721-741, September.
    8. Richard H. Steckel & Roderick Floud, 1997. "Health and Welfare during Industrialization," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number stec97-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4319 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9787 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Elaine Kelly, 2011. "The Scourge of Asian Flu: In utero Exposure to Pandemic Influenza and the Development of a Cohort of British Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 669-694.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10607 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Leblanc, Josée & Sahn, David E., 2011. "Comparing population distributions from bin-aggregated sample data: An application to historical height data from France," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 419-437.
    6. Asadul Islam & Paul Raschky & Russell Smyth, 2017. "The Long-Term Health Effects of Mass Political Violence: Evidence from China’s Cultural Revolution," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 257-272, May.
    7. Peracchi, Franco & Arcaleni, Emilia, 2011. "Early-life environment, height and BMI of young men in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 251-264, July.
    8. Darrouzet-Nardi, Amelia & Masters, William A., 2014. "Market access and child nutrition in a conflict environment," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170286, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Burak GURBUZ & Marc RAFFINOT, 2011. "Croissance Et Repartition Des Revenus En Turquie (1994-2005) : Quel Impact Sur La Pauvrete ?," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 34, pages 19-38.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fetal origin; height; military data;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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