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The Cultural Revolution, Stress and Cancer

  • Tilak Abeysinghe


    (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)

  • Jiaying Gu


    (Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

The link between mental stress and cancer is still a belief, not a well established scientific fact. Scientists have relied largely on opinions of cancer stricken patients to establish a link between stress and cancer. Such opinion surveys tend to produce contradictory statistical inferences. Although it is difficult to conduct scientific experiments on humans similar to those on animals, human history is replete with “experiments” that have caused enormous stress on some human populations. The objective of this exercise is to draw evidence from one such massive experiment, the Cultural Revolution in China. Cancer data from Shanghai analyzed through an age-period-cohort technique show very strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that mental stress causes cancer.

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Paper provided by National University of Singapore, Department of Economics, SCAPE in its series SCAPE Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1001.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sca:scaewp:1001
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  1. David J. McKenzie, 2006. "Disentangling Age, Cohort and Time Effects in the Additive Model," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(4), pages 473-495, 08.
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