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Critical Periods During Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height Among Immigrant Siblings

  • van den Berg, G. J
  • Lundborg P
  • Nystedt P
  • Rooth D

We identify the ages that constitute critical periods in children’s development towards their adult health status. For this we use data on families migrating into Sweden from countries that are mostly poorer, with less healthy conditions. Long-run health is proxied by adult height. The relation between siblings’ ages at migration and their heights after age 18 allows us to estimate the causal effect of conditions at a certain age on adult height. Moreover, we compare siblings born outside and within Sweden. We apply fixed-effect methods to a sample of about 9,000 brothers. We effectively exploit that for siblings the migration occurs simultaneously in calendar time but at different developmental stages (ages). We find important critical periods at ages 5/6 and 9. The effects are stronger in families migrating from poorer countries but weaker if the mother is well-educated.

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Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 09/20.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:09/20
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  1. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2010. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation among US Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 165-92, January.
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  6. Gørgens, Tue & Meng, Xin & Vaithianathan, Rhema, 2012. "Stunting and selection effects of famine: A case study of the Great Chinese Famine," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 99-111.
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  10. Horton, Susan, 1988. "Birth Order and Child Nutritional Status: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 341-54, January.
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  12. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic status and health in childhood: the origins of the gradient," Working Papers 262, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  13. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Height, Health, and Cognitive Function at Older Ages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 463-67, May.
  14. Rashad, Inas, 2008. "Height, health, and income in the US, 1984-2005," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 108-126, March.
  15. Jaume Garcia Villar & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2006. "The evolution of adult height in Europe: A brief note," Economics Working Papers 1002, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2007.
  16. Gerard J. van den Berg & Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter & Kaare Christensen, 2008. "Exogenous determinants of early-life conditions, and mortality later in life," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2008-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  17. Pak, Sunyoung, 2004. "The biological standard of living in the two Koreas," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 511-518, December.
  18. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
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