Father’s employment and sons’ stature: the long run effects of a positive regional employment shock in South Africa’s mining industry
I exploit the sudden increase in employment in 1975, 1976 and 1977 in four former South African homelands to compare the long term adult outcomes of children benefitting from the employment increase to those not subject to it. Using a standard difference in difference approach I find that there was severe malnutrition in the homelands resulting in stunting in African men born during the shock providing support to the foetal origins hypothesis. The employment shock did not affect other long term outcomes such as education and general health, although there is some evidence of an improvement in long term health. This study provides previously unmeasured individual level information on the quality of life in the homelands during apartheid, an era when African living standards were neglected but unmeasured because of a lack of data collection.
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