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Does in Utero Exposure to Illness Matter? The 1918 Influenza Epidemic in Taiwan as a Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Elaine Liu

    () (University of Houston)

  • Ming-Jen Lin

    (National Taiwan University)

Abstract

This paper uses the 1918 influenza pandemic in Taiwan as a natural experiment to test whether in utero conditions affect long run developmental outcomes. Combining several historical and contemporaneous datasets, we find that cohorts in utero during the pandemic are less educated, shorter as teenagers, and more likely to have kidney disease, glaucoma, respiratory problems and diabetes in old age than other birth cohorts. Despite the possible positive selection on health with the high infant mortality rates during this period (18%), our findings suggest a strong negative effect of in utero exposure to influenza.

Suggested Citation

  • Elaine Liu & Ming-Jen Lin, 2013. "Does in Utero Exposure to Illness Matter? The 1918 Influenza Epidemic in Taiwan as a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 201310931, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  • Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:201310931
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Petra Persson & Maya Rossin-Slater, 2016. "Family Ruptures, Stress, and the Mental Health of the Next Generation," NBER Working Papers 22229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet & Herrmann, Mariesa, 2012. "From infant to mother: Early disease environment and future maternal health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 475-483.
    3. Parman, John, 2015. "Childhood health and sibling outcomes: Nurture Reinforcing nature during the 1918 influenza pandemic," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 22-43.
    4. Krzysztof Karbownik & Anthony Wray, 2016. "Long-run Consequences of Exposure to Natural Disasters," CESifo Working Paper Series 6196, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano & da Silva, Luiz Pereira, 2014. "On gender and growth: The role of intergenerational health externalities and women's occupational constraints," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 132-147.
    6. Ayllón, Sara & Ferreira-Batista, Natalia N., 2015. "‘Mommy, I miss daddy’. The effect of family structure on children's health in Brazil," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 75-89.
    7. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Accounting for Fetal Origins: Health Capital vs. Health Deficits," Discussion Papers 17-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    8. Husain, Zakir & Mukherjee, Diganta & Dutta, Mousumi & Mukhopadhyay, Susmita, 2016. "Fasting during Ramadan and subsequent long term impact on health of children: Comparing the Foetal Origin and Predictive Adaptive Response Hypotheses," MPRA Paper 73802, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Richter, André & Robling, Per Olof, 2013. "Multigenerational e ffects of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic in Sweden," Working Paper Series 5/2013, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    10. Charles Stoecker & Nicholas J. Sanders & Alan Barreca, 2016. "Success Is Something to Sneeze At: Influenza Mortality in Cities that Participate in the Super Bowl," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 125-143, January.
    11. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser & Adi Shany, 2016. "Out of Africa: Human Capital Consequences of In Utero Conditions," NBER Working Papers 21894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. repec:eee:socmed:v:181:y:2017:i:c:p:43-53 is not listed on IDEAS
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    14. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
    15. Clay, Karen & Lewis, Joshua & Severnini, Edson R., 2015. "Pollution, Infectious Disease, and Mortality: Evidence from the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic," IZA Discussion Papers 9399, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    1918 influenza; Fetal origins hypothesis; Height; Education; Disease and mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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