The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes Across Europe

43 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2012

See all articles by Iris Kesternich

Iris Kesternich

KU Leuven - Department of Economics; Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics

Bettina Siflinger

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Joachim K. Winter

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA); Deutsche Bundesbank - Research Department

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Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the long-run effects of World War II on socio-economic status (SES) and health of older individuals in Europe. Physical and psychological childhood events are important predictors for labor market and health outcomes in adult life, but studies that quantify these effects in large samples that cover entire diverse populations are still rare. We will analyze data from SHARELIFE, a retrospective survey conducted as part of the Survey on Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) in 2009. This survey provides detailed data on events in childhood including those during the war as well as several measures of exposure to war shocks such as experience of dispossession, persecution, combat in local areas, and hunger periods for over 20,000 individuals in 13 European countries. We find that exposure to the war itself, and even more importantly to individual-level shocks caused by the war such as hunger periods, significantly predict old-age outcomes at older ages.

Keywords: health, war, SES

JEL Classification: I0, H0

Suggested Citation

Kesternich, Iris and Siflinger, Bettina and Smith, James P. and Winter, Joachim K., The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes Across Europe. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6296. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1999324

Iris Kesternich (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Department of Economics ( email )

Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Bettina Siflinger

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Joachim K. Winter

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

Amalienstrasse 33
Munich, 80799
Germany

Deutsche Bundesbank - Research Department ( email )

PO Box 10 06 02
D60006 Frankfurt
Germany

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