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Infant Health and Longevity: Evidence from a Historical Trial in Sweden

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  • Bhalotra, Sonia R.

    (University of Warwick)

  • Karlsson, Martin

    (University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Nilsson, Therese

    (Lund University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the potential of an infant intervention to improve life expectancy, contributing to emerging interest in the early life origins of chronic disease. We analyse a pioneering program trialled in Sweden in the 1930s, which provided information, support and monitoring of infant care. Using birth certificate data from parish records matched to death registers, we estimate that the average duration of program exposure in infancy led to a 1.54% point decline in the risk of infant death (23% of baseline risk) and a 2.37% decline in the risk of dying by age 75 (6.5% of baseline risk).

Suggested Citation

  • Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2015. "Infant Health and Longevity: Evidence from a Historical Trial in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 8969, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8969
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    2. Lazuka, Volha, 2017. "The lasting health and income effects of public health formation in Sweden," Lund Papers in Economic History 153, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    3. Rossin-Slater, Maya & Wüst, Miriam, 2016. "What is the Added Value of Preschool? Long-Term Impacts and Interactions with a Health Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 10254, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Aline Bütikofer & Katrine V. Løken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2019. "Infant Health Care and Long-Term Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 341-354, May.
    5. Bütikofer, Aline & Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2015. "Long-Term Consequences of Access to Well-Child Visits," IZA Discussion Papers 9546, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Arabsheibani, Gholamreza & Gupta, Prashant & Mishra, Tapas & Parhi, Mamata, 2018. "Wage differential between caste groups: Are younger and older cohorts different?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 10-23.
    7. Fitzsimons, Emla & Malde, Bansi & Mesnard, Alice & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2016. "Nutrition, information and household behavior: Experimental evidence from Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 113-126.
    8. Andreella, Claudia & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Westphal, Matthias, 2015. "The long shadows of past insults intergenerational transmission of health over 130 years," Ruhr Economic Papers 571, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Serratos-Sotelo, Luis & Bengtsson, Tommy & Nilsson, Anton, 2019. "The long-term economic effects of polio: Evidence from the introduction of the polio vaccine to Sweden in 1957," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 32-41.
    10. Sonia Bhalotra & Damian Clarke, 2020. "The Twin Instrument: Fertility and Human Capital Investment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(6), pages 3090-3139.
    11. Maya Rossin-Slater & Miriam Wüst, 2016. "What is the Added Value of Preschool for Poor Children? Long-Term and Intergenerational Impacts and Interactions with an Infant Health Intervention," NBER Working Papers 22700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    life expectancy; infant health; program evaluation; early life interventions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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