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The Lasting Impact of Mothers’ Fetal Malnutrition on Their Offspring: Evidence from the China Great Leap Forward Famine

  • Seonghoon Kim


    (Department of Economics, Ohio State University)

  • Quheng Deng

    (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

  • Belton M. Fleisher


    (Department of Economics, Ohio State University)

  • Shi Li

    (School of Economics and Business, Beijing Normal University)

We find that second-generation effects of in utero and early childhood malnutrition on the school participation of the offspring of mothers who experienced the China Great Leap Forward Famine.. The direct impact on entrance to senior high school is also negative, but smaller in magnitude than that on entrance to junior high school. Given that entering senior high school is contingent on completion of junior high school, the direct impact on entrance to senior high school obviously understates the total impact on the second generation’s accumulation of human capital. Our estimation results are generally robust to IV estimation.

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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 10-01.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:osu:osuewp:10-01
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  1. Gørgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2012. "Stunting and selection effects of famine: A case study of the Great Chinese Famine," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 99-111.
  2. 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.
  3. SHI, Xinzheng, 2011. "Famine, fertility, and fortune in china," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 244-259, June.
  4. Justin Yifu Lin & Yang, Dennis, 1995. "Food Availability, Entitlement and the Chinese Famine of 1959-61," Working Papers 95-24, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2006. "Early childhood nutrition, schooling, and sibling inequality in a dynamic context: evidence from South Africa," FCND briefs 203, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. 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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