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Hungry children age faster

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  • Abeliansky, Ana Lucia
  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

We analyze how childhood hunger affects human aging for a panel of European individuals. For this purpose, we use six waves of the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) dataset and construct a health deficit index. Results from log-linear regressions suggest that, on average, elderly European men and women developed about 20 percent more health deficits when they experienced a hunger episode in their childhood. The effect becomes larger when the hunger episode is experienced earlier in childhood. In non-linear regressions (akin to the Gompertz-Makeham law), we obtain greater effects suggesting that health deficits in old age are up to 40 percent higher for children suffering from hunger. The wedge of health deficits between hungry and and non-hungry individuals increases absolutely and relatively with age. This implies that individuals who suffered from hunger as children age faster.

Suggested Citation

  • Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Strulik, Holger, 2017. "Hungry children age faster," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 322, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:322
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    Cited by:

    1. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "How season of birth affects health and aging," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 352, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. Carl‐Johan Dalgaard & Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2021. "Fetal origins—A life cycle model of health and aging from conception to death," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(6), pages 1276-1290, June.
    3. Strulik, Holger, 2022. "A health economic theory of occupational choice, aging, and longevity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    4. Hamid Reza Oskorouchi, 2019. "Learning to Fight: Afghan Child Health and In‐utero Exposure to Conflict," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 45(2), pages 275-300, June.
    5. Oskorouchi, Hamid R. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Bloom, David E., 2020. "The Long-Term Cognitive and Schooling Effects of Childhood Vaccinations in China," IZA Discussion Papers 13106, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Accounting for Fetal Origins: Health Capital vs. Health Deficits," Discussion Papers 17-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    7. Dragone, Davide & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Negligible senescence: An economic life cycle model for the future," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 264-285.
    8. Abeliansky, Ana & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Health and aging before and after retirement," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 397, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Strulik, Holger, 2019. "Long-run improvements in human health: Steady but unequal," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 14(C).
    10. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Season of birth, health and aging," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; aging; health deficit index; hunger episodes; childhood health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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