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Long-Run Effects of Gestation During the Dutch Hunger Winter Famine on Labor Market and Hospitalization Outcomes

  • Scholte, Robert


    (SEO Economic Research)

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.


    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten


    (VU University Amsterdam)

The Dutch Hunger Winter (1944/45) is the most-studied famine in the literature on long-run effects of malnutrition in utero. Its temporal and spatial demarcations are clear, it was severe, it was not anticipated, and nutritional conditions in society were favorable and stable before and after the famine. This is the first study to analyze effects of in utero exposure on labor market outcomes and hospitalization, and the first to use register data covering the full Dutch population to examine long-run effects of this famine. We provide results of famine exposure by sub-interval of gestation. We find a significantly negative effect of exposure during the first trimester of gestation on employment outcomes 53 or more years after birth. Hospitalization rates in the years before retirement are higher after middle or late gestational exposure.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6307.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Health Economics, 2015, 39, 17–30
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6307
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  1. Doblhammer, Gabriele & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Fritze, Thomas, 2011. "Economic conditions at the time of birth and cognitive abilities late in life: evidence from eleven European countries," Working Paper Series 2011:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Pinger, Pia R. & Schoch, Johannes, 2012. "Instrumental variable estimation of the causal effect of hunger early in life on health later in life," Working Paper Series 2012:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Gerard van den Berg & Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter & Kaare Christensen, 2011. "Being Born Under Adverse Economic Conditions Leads to a Higher Cardiovascular Mortality Rate Later in Life: Evidence Based on Individuals Born at Different Stages of the Business Cycle," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 507-530, May.
  4. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Deeg, Dorly J.H. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France, 2010. "The role of early-life conditions in the cognitive decline due to adverse events later in life," Working Paper Series 2010:10, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  5. Sven Neelsen & Thomas Stratmann, 2010. "Effects of Prenatal and Early Life Malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek Famine," CESifo Working Paper Series 2994, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2011. "Health Capital and the Prenatal Environment: The Effect of Ramadan Observance during Pregnancy," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 56-85, October.
  7. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chen, Yuyu & Zhou, Li-An, 2007. "The long-term health and economic consequences of the 1959-1961 famine in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 659-681, July.
  9. Xin Meng & Nancy Qian, 2009. "The Long Term Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment using China's Great Famine," NBER Working Papers 14917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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