Infant Health and Longevity: Evidence from a Historical Trial in Sweden

46 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2015

See all articles by Sonia R. Bhalotra

Sonia R. Bhalotra

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Martin Karlsson

University of Duisburg-Essen

Therese Nilsson

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Lund University - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper investigates the potential of an infant intervention to improve life expectancy, contributing to emerging interest in the early life origins of chronic disease. We analyse a pioneering program trialled in Sweden in the 1930s, which provided information, support and monitoring of infant care. Using birth certificate data from parish records matched to death registers, we estimate that the average duration of program exposure in infancy led to a 1.54% point decline in the risk of infant death (23% of baseline risk) and a 2.37% decline in the risk of dying by age 75 (6.5% of baseline risk).

Keywords: infant health, life expectancy, early life interventions, program evaluation

JEL Classification: I15, I18, H41

Suggested Citation

Bhalotra, Sonia R. and Karlsson, Martin and Nilsson, Therese, Infant Health and Longevity: Evidence from a Historical Trial in Sweden. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8969, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2598909

Sonia R. Bhalotra (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Martin Karlsson

University of Duisburg-Essen ( email )

Therese Nilsson

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Lund University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7082
S-220 07 Lund
Sweden
+46 46 222 46 43 (Phone)

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