IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp9688.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Parental Influences on Health and Longevity: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees

Author

Listed:
  • Lindahl, Mikael

    () (University of Gothenburg)

  • Björkegren, Evelina

    () (Uppsala University)

  • Palme, Mårten

    () (Stockholm University)

  • Simeonova, Emilia

    () (Johns Hopkins University)

Abstract

To what extent is the length of our lives determined by pre-birth factors? And to what extent is it affected by parental resources during our upbringing that can be influenced by public policy? We study the formation of adult health and mortality using data on about 21,000 adoptees born between 1940 and 1967. The data include detailed information on both biological and adopting parents. We find that the health of the biological parents affects the health of their adopted children. Thus, we confirm that genes and conditions in utero are important intergenerational transmission channels for long-term health. However, we also find strong evidence that the educational attainment of the adopting mother has a significant impact on the health of her adoptive children, suggesting that family environment and resources in the post-birth years have long-term consequences for children's health.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindahl, Mikael & Björkegren, Evelina & Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2016. "Parental Influences on Health and Longevity: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees," IZA Discussion Papers 9688, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9688
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp9688.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 113-158, March.
    2. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028.
    3. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    4. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Cesarini & Erik Lindqvist & Robert Östling & Björn Wallace, 2016. "Wealth, Health, and Child Development: Evidence from Administrative Data on Swedish Lottery Players," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 687-738.
    6. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Petter Lundborg & Kaveh Majlesi, 2015. "Poor Little Rich Kids? - The Determinants of the Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth," Working Papers 201516, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Björklund, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2004. "Intergenerational Effects in Sweden: What Can We Learn from Adoption Data?," IZA Discussion Papers 1194, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bellows, John & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "War and local collective action in Sierra Leone," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1144-1157, December.
    10. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2002. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings and Longitudinal Data," NBER Working Papers 9360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. 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.
    12. Classen, Timothy J., 2010. "Measures of the intergenerational transmission of body mass index between mothers and their children in the United States, 1981-2004," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 30-43, March.
    13. Joshua Goodman & Janet Currie, "undated". "Parental Socioeconomic Status, Child Health, and Human Capital," Working Paper 95991, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Maria Zumbuehl & Thomas Dohmen & Gerard Pfann, 2018. "Parental Involvement and the Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Preferences and Attitudes," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0148, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    2. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:96-111 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health inequality; mortality; pre- versus post-birth decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9688. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.