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Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease, and Death


  • Robert W. Fogel
  • Larry T. Wimmer


This paper summarizes a collaborative project designed to create a public-use tape suitable for a prospective study of aging among a random sample of 39,616 men mustered into 331 companies of the Union Army. The aim of the project is to measure the effect of socioeconomics and biomedical factors during childhood and early adulthood on the development of specific chronic disease at middle and late ages, on labor force participation at these later ages, and on elapsed time to death. This paper surveys the nature of and quality of the data and data sources to be included in the study, discusses the characteristics of a subsample of recruits from 20 companies recently recruited, looks at questions of representativeness of Union Army recruits to the Northern white male population, and finally examines several issues involving questions of possible selection bias due to linkage failure.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fogel & Larry T. Wimmer, 1992. "Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease, and Death," NBER Historical Working Papers 0038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberhi:0038 Note: DAE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Klein, Benjamin, 1974. "The Competitive Supply of Money," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 6(4), pages 423-453, November.
    2. Friedman, Milton, 1990. "Bimetallism Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 85-104, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hafner, Kurt A. & Mayer-Foulkes, David, 2013. "Fertility, economic growth, and human development causal determinants of the developed lifestyle," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 107-120.
    2. Mayer-Foulkes, David, 2008. "The Human Development Trap in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 775-796, May.
    3. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2004. "Shame and Ostracism: Union Army Deserters Leave Home," NBER Working Papers 10425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2017. "Fighting Poverty And Child Malnutrition: On The Design Of Foreign Aid Policies," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(08), pages 1935-1956, December.
    5. Dora L. Costa, 1993. "Explaining the Changing Dynamics of Unemployment: Evidence from Civil War Records," NBER Historical Working Papers 0051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Sven Wilson & Joseph Burton & Benjamin Howell, 2005. "Work and the Disability Transition in 20th Century America," NBER Working Papers 11036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lustig, Nora, 2006. "Investing in Health for Economic Development: The Case of Mexico," WIDER Working Paper Series 030, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Noymer, Andrew, 2009. "Testing the influenza-tuberculosis selective mortality hypothesis with Union Army data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1599-1608, May.
    9. Alexander Cotte, Poveda, 2011. "Economic development and growth in Colombia: An empirical analysis with super-efficiency DEA and panel data models," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 154-164, December.
    10. Mayer, David, 2001. "The Long-Term Impact of Health on Economic Growth in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1025-1033, June.
    11. T. Paul Schultz, 2005. "Productive Benefits of Health: Evidence from Low-Income Countries," Working Papers 903, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    12. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Cowards and Heroes: Group Loyalty in the American Civil War," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 519-548.
    13. Berta Rivera & Luis Currais & Paolo Rungo, "undated". "Child Nutrition And Multiple Equilibria In The Human Capital Transition Function," Working Papers 21-06 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    14. Larry T. Wimmer, 2003. "Reflections on the Early Indicators Project.A Partial History," NBER Chapters,in: Health and Labor Force Participation over the Life Cycle: Evidence from the Past, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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