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The transmission of health across 7 generations in China, 1789-1906

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  • Jean-Francois Maystadt
  • Guiseppe Migali

Abstract

We study the intergenerational transmission of health using linked registered data from China between 1789 and 1906. We first document the intergenerational correlations across 7 generations. We then identify intergenerational causal associations comparing children born from twin mothers or fathers. In particular, wefind a strong and per- sistent intergenerational elasticity between mothers and children of about 0.52. The intergenerational association from fathers is much weaker and seems to be largely driven by genetic factors. The estimates remain relatively stable up to generation 5 and are robust to different checks. Overall, our results highlight the nurturing role of women in explaining the intergenerational transmission of health, stressing the key role played by women in affecting children's health outcomes in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Francois Maystadt & Guiseppe Migali, 2017. "The transmission of health across 7 generations in China, 1789-1906," Working Papers of LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance 587013, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:licosp:587013
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    1. Björkegren, Evelina & Lindahl, Mikael & Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2019. "Pre- and Post-Birth Components of Intergenerational Persistence in Health and Longevity: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees," IZA Discussion Papers 12451, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational correlations; causal effects; long-term health outcomes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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