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Critical Periods During Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height Among Immigrant Siblings

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    ()

    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lundborg, Petter

    ()

    (Lund University)

  • Nystedt, Paul

    ()

    (Linköping University)

  • Rooth, Dan-Olof

    ()

    (Linnaeus University)

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 mostly 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 a certain age 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 important critical periods at ages 5/6 and 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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4140.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: JEEA
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4140
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  1. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
  2. Sandra E Black & Paul J Devereux & Kjell G Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 409-439, 02.
  3. Åslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at migration and social integration," Working Paper Series 2009:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Height, Health and Cognitive Function at Older Ages," Working Papers 1007, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  5. Ggens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2010. "Stunting and Selection Effects of Famine: A Case Study of the Great Chinese Famine," CEI Working Paper Series 2010-2, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  7. Pak, Sunyoung, 2004. "The biological standard of living in the two Koreas," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 511-518, December.
  8. Kantarevic, Jasmin & Mechoulan, Stéphane, 2005. "Birth Order, Educational Attainment and Earnings: An Investigation Using the PSID," IZA Discussion Papers 1789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Gerard J. van den Berg & Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter & Kaare Christensen, 2008. "Exogenous determinants of early-life conditions, and mortality later in life," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2008-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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  11. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
  12. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2009. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation Among U.S. Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0913, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  13. Garcia, Jaume & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2007. "The evolution of adult height in Europe: A brief note," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 340-349, July.
  14. Rashad, Inas, 2008. "Height, health, and income in the US, 1984-2005," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 108-126, March.
  15. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
  16. Richard H. Steckel, 2008. "Biological Measures of the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 129-152, Winter.
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