Labor Market Effects of Intrauterine Exposure to Nutritional Deficiency: Evidence from Administrative Data on Muslim Immigrants in Denmark

39 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2014

See all articles by Marie Louise Schultz-Nielsen

Marie Louise Schultz-Nielsen

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Erdal Tekin

American University

Jane Greve

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2014

Abstract

This paper examines whether nutritional disruptions experienced during the stage of fetal development impair an individual’s labor market productivity later in life. We consider intrauterine exposure to the month of Ramadan as a natural experiment that might cause shocks to the inflow of nutrients essential for fetal development. Specifically, we use administrative data from Denmark to investigate the impact of exposure to Ramadan in utero on labor market outcomes of adult Muslim males, including employment status, annual salary, hourly wage rate, and hours of work. Our findings indicate that potential exposure to nutritional disruptions during a critical stage of fetal development has scarring effects on the fetus expressed as poor labor market outcomes later in life. Specifically, exposure to Ramadan in the 7th month of gestation results in a lower likelihood of employment, a lower salary, and reduced labor supply, but not necessarily a lower wage rate. We also document suggestive evidence that these results may partially be driven by increased disability and to a lesser extent by poor educational attainment among those who were exposed to Ramadan during this particular period in utero.

Suggested Citation

Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise and Tekin, Erdal and Greve, Jane, Labor Market Effects of Intrauterine Exposure to Nutritional Deficiency: Evidence from Administrative Data on Muslim Immigrants in Denmark (December 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20723, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535175

Marie Louise Schultz-Nielsen (Contact Author)

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit ( email )

Sejroegade 11
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Erdal Tekin

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Jane Greve

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit ( email )

Sejroegade 11
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
4
Abstract Views
337
PlumX Metrics