Collateral Damage: Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes Among German War and Post-War Cohorts

51 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2012

See all articles by Hendrik Jürges

Hendrik Jürges

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA); German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Date Written: February 1, 2012

Abstract

We use data from the West German 1970 census to explore the link between being born during or shortly after World War II and educational and labor market outcomes 25 years later. We document, for the first time, that men and women born in the relatively short period between November 1945 and May 1946 have significantly and substantially lower educational attainment and occupational status than cohorts born shortly before or after.

Several alternative explanations for this new finding are put to test. Most likely, a short but severe spell of quantitative and qualitative malnutrition immediately around the end of the war has impaired intrauterine conditions in first trimester pregnancies and resulted in long term detriments among the affected cohorts. This conjecture is corroborated by evidence from Austria.

Keywords: fetal origins hypothesis, malnutrition, educational attainment, labor market outcomes

JEL Classification: J24, N34

Suggested Citation

Jürges, Hendrik, Collateral Damage: Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes Among German War and Post-War Cohorts (February 1, 2012). MEA Discussion Paper No. 253-11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2014662 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2014662

Hendrik Jürges (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
60
Abstract Views
695
rank
391,796
PlumX Metrics