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Early Childhood Health Shocks and Adult Wellbeing: Evidence from Wartime Britain

Listed author(s):
  • Jeffrey C. Schiman
  • Robert Kaestner
  • Anthony T. Lo Sasso

A growing literature argues that early environments affecting childhood health may influence significantly later-life health and financial wellbeing. We present new evidence on the relationship between child health and later-life outcomes using variation in infant mortality in England and Wales at the onset of World War II. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we exploit the variation in infant mortality across birth cohorts and region to estimate the associations between infant mortality and adult outcomes such as disability and employment. Our findings suggest that higher infant mortality is significantly associated with higher likelihood of disability, a lower probability of employment, and less earned income.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23763.

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Date of creation: Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23763
Note: CH HE
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  1. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet & Herrmann, Mariesa, 2012. "From infant to mother: Early disease environment and future maternal health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 475-483.
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  3. Richard Akresh & Sonia Bhalotra & Marinella Leone & Una Okonkwo Osili, 2012. "War and Stature: Growing Up during the Nigerian Civil War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 273-277, May.
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  7. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, 2011. "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 153-172, Summer.
  8. Elaine Kelly, 2011. "The Scourge of Asian Flu: In utero Exposure to Pandemic Influenza and the Development of a Cohort of British Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 669-694.
  9. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Subsequent Health Outcomes: An Analysis of SIPP Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 258-262, May.
  10. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2010. "Long-run effects on longevity of a nutritional shock early in life: The Dutch Potato famine of 1846-1847," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 617-629, September.
  11. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117.
  12. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2010. "Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 46-71, April.
  13. Imbens,Guido W. & Rubin,Donald B., 2015. "Causal Inference for Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521885881, March.
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