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The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes across Europe

  • Kesternich, Iris

    ()

    (University of Munich)

  • Siflinger, Bettina

    ()

    (University of Mannheim)

  • Smith, James P.

    ()

    (RAND)

  • Winter, Joachim K.

    ()

    (University of Munich)

In this paper, we investigate the long-run effects of World War II on socio-economic status (SES) and health of older individuals in Europe. Physical and psychological childhood events are important predictors for labor market and health outcomes in adult life, but studies that quantify these effects in large samples that cover entire diverse populations are still rare. We will analyze data from SHARELIFE, a retrospective survey conducted as part of the Survey on Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) in 2009. This survey provides detailed data on events in childhood including those during the war as well as several measures of exposure to war shocks such as experience of dispossession, persecution, combat in local areas, and hunger periods for over 20,000 individuals in 13 European countries. We find that exposure to the war itself, and even more importantly to individual-level shocks caused by the war such as hunger periods, significantly predict old-age outcomes at older ages.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6296.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6296
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  1. Waldinger, Fabian, 2012. "Bombs, Brains, and Science: The Role of Human and Physical Capital for the Creation of Scientific Knowledge," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 78, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Neelsen, Sven & Stratmann, Thomas, 2011. "Effects of prenatal and early life malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek famine," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 479-488, May.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Tarek A. Hassan & James A. Robinson, 2010. "Social Structure and Development: A Legacy of the Holocaust in Russia," NBER Working Papers 16083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Banks, James & Muriel, Alastair & Smith, James P., 2010. "Disease Prevalence, Disease Incidence, and Mortality in the United States and in England," IZA Discussion Papers 4992, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 25-42.
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