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Heterogenous Mechanisms in WWII Stress Transmission: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

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This paper analyses how in utero exposure to maternal stress from WWII affects long-term health and economic outcomes and describes different mechanisms at work, showing that current health conditions are heterogeneously related to the type of fetal stressor. We exploit the Italian armistice of September 8th 1943 as exogenous variation in the war intensity, providing WWII long-run causal effects on objectively measured health and economic outcomes. We find that in utero exposure to intense WWII events had long- lasting effects on health and that Nazi massacres predict late-onset depression, while nutritional deprivation suffered in large cities had lasting effects on diabetes. Finally, we innovate by showing that these effects increase with the age of the treated individuals.

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File URL: http://www.csef.it/WP/wp479.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 479.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:479
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  1. Neelsen, Sven & Stratmann, Thomas, 2011. "Effects of prenatal and early life malnutrition: Evidence from the Greek famine," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 479-488, May.
  2. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Timothy M. Watts, 2007. "Long Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France," NBER Working Papers 12895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Tom Bundervoet & Philip Verwimp & Richard Akresh, 2009. "Health and Civil War in Rural Burundi," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  4. Arthur Lewbel, 2007. "Estimation of Average Treatment Effects with Misclassification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 537-551, March.
  5. Goldin, Claudia D, 1991. "The Role of World War II in the Rise of Women's Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 741-756, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Maarten Lindeboom & Reyn van Ewijk, 2015. "“Babies of the War: The effect of war exposure early in life on mortality throughout life”," Working Papers 1519, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
  8. 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.
  9. Iris Kesternich & Bettina Siflinger & James P. Smith & Joachim K. Winter, 2014. "The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes across Europe," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 103-118, March.
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