The Long Term Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment Using China's Great Famine

49 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009 Last revised: 18 Nov 2013

See all articles by Xin Meng

Xin Meng

Australian National University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 2009

Abstract

This paper estimates the long run impact of famine on survivors in the context of China's Great Famine. To address problems of measurement error of famine exposure and potential endogeneity of famine intensity, we exploit a novel source of variation in regional intensity of famine derived from the unique institutional determinants of the Great Famine. To address attenuation bias caused by selection for survival, we estimate the impact on the upper quantiles of the distribution of outcomes. Our results indicate that in-utero and early childhood exposure to famine had large negative effects on adult height, weight, weight-for-height, educational attainment and labor supply.

Suggested Citation

Meng, Xin and Qian, Nancy, The Long Term Consequences of Famine on Survivors: Evidence from a Unique Natural Experiment Using China's Great Famine (April 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14917, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1394824

Xin Meng (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Research School of Economics
College of Business and Economics
Canberra ACT 0200
Australia
+61 26249 3102 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Nancy Qian

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

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