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From Angela's Ashes to the Celtic Tiger: Early Life Conditions and Adult Health in Ireland

  • Liam Delaney

    (UCD School of Economics, UCD School of Public Health & Population Science, UCD Geary Institute)

  • Mark McGovern

    (UCD Geary Institute)

  • James P. Smith

    (RAND)

We use data from the Irish census and exploit regional and temporal variation in infant mortality rates over the 20th century to examine effects of early life conditions on later life health. Our main identification is public health interventions which eliminated the Irish urban infant mortality penalty. Estimates suggest that a unit decrease in mortality rates at time of birth reduces the probability of being disabled as an adult by between .03 and .05 percentage points. We find that individuals from lower socio economic groups had marginal effects of reduced infant mortality twice as large as those at the top.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp200943.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200943.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 07 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200943
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  1. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Determinants of Mortality," Working Papers 235, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
  3. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2006. "From the cradle to the labor market? The effect of birth weight on adult outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19425, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. David Cutler & Grant Miller, 2005. "The role of public health improvements in health advances: The twentieth-century United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-22, February.
  5. Robert W. Fogel, 2005. "Changes in the Physiology of Aging during the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 11233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael R. Haines, 2001. "The Urban Mortality Transition in the United States, 1800-1940," NBER Historical Working Papers 0134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  8. In Utero, 2006. "Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over? Long-Term Effects of In Utero Influenza Exposure in the Post-1940 U.S. Population," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 672-712, August.
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