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The associations between early life circumstances and later life health and employment in the Netherlands and Spain


  • M. Flores
  • A.S. Kalwij


Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, this paper provides empirical evidence for the Netherlands and Spain on the associations between individuals’ early life circumstances—measured by health and socioeconomic status (SES) during childhood—educational attainment, and later life health and employment (at ages 50–64). We find that for both men and women in the Netherlands and Spain, favorable early life circumstances (i.e., better childhood health and higher SES) are associated with a higher level of education, which is in turn associated with better health later in life. This latter is also linked to early life circumstances conditional on educational attainment. For men only, favorable early life circumstances are associated with a higher incidence of later life employment, primarily because of better later life health. Our findings thus suggest that policies aimed at improving children’s health and SES may have long-term benefits through increased individual educational attainment and later life health and employment.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Flores & A.S. Kalwij, 2011. "The associations between early life circumstances and later life health and employment in the Netherlands and Spain," Working Papers 11-10, Utrecht School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1110

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ana Llena-Nozal & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2004. "The effect of work on mental health: does occupation matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(10), pages 1045-1062.
    2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Gupta, Sumedha, 2015. "The role of marriage in the causal pathway from economic conditions early in life to mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 141-158.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adriaan Kalwij, 2014. "An empirical analysis of the importance of controlling for unobserved heterogeneity when estimating the income-mortality gradient," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(30), pages 913-940, October.
    2. Adriaan Kalwij & Rob Alessie & Marike Knoef, 2013. "The Association Between Individual Income and Remaining Life Expectancy at the Age of 65 in the Netherlands," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 181-206, February.
    3. Angelini, Viola & Mierau, Jochen O., 2014. "Born at the right time? Childhood health and the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 35-43.

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    Early life circumstances; health; employment;

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