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Critical periods during childhood and adolescence: a study of adult height among immigrant siblings

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.


    (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)

  • Lundborg, Petter

    (Lund University)

  • Nystedt, Paul

    (Nyköping University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    (Linnaeus University Kalmar)

We identify the ages that constitute critical periods in children’s development towards their adult health status. For this we use data on families migrating into Sweden from countries that are poorer, with less healthy conditions. Long-run health is proxied by adult height. The relation between siblings’ ages at migration and their heights after age 18 allows us to estimate the causal effect of conditions at certain ages on adult height. Moreover, we compare siblings born outside and within Sweden. We apply fixed-effect methods to a sample of about 9,000 brothers. We effectively exploit that for siblings the migration occurs simultaneously in calendar time but at different developmental stages (ages). We find some evidence for a critical period at age 9. The effects are stronger in families migrating from poorer countries but weaker if the mother is well-educated.

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Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011:5.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 14 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as van den Berg, Gerard J., Petter Lundborg, Paul Nystedt and Dan-Olof Rooth, 'Critical periods during childhoood and adolescence' in Journal of the European Economic Association, 2014, pages 1521-1557.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2011_005
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