Adolescent Adversity and Long-Run Health
67 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2014 Last revised: 18 Nov 2014
Date Written: August 2014
A central question in human development is what causes health inequalities over the life cycle. We link a harsh environment in the teen years to individuals' health conditions almost 40 years later, and employ Regression Discontinuity Design to make a causal inference between adolescent adversity and long-term health. Specifically, we exploit the mandatory "send-down" policy during China's Cultural Revolution, in which millions of urban youths were forced to move to rural areas. We find that rusticated youths were more likely to develop chronic diseases and mental problems. These effects are similar across gender, but stronger for individuals with fewer siblings.
Keywords: Adolescent environment, health, China
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