Long-Term Effects of Famine on Chronic Diseases: Evidence from China's Great Leap Forward Famine

40 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2015 Last revised: 30 Apr 2016

See all articles by Xuefeng Hu

Xuefeng Hu

University of Ottawa

Gordon Guoen Liu

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management

Maoyong Fan

Ball State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 20, 2015

Abstract

We estimate long-term effects of famine on chronic diseases using China’s Great Leap Forward Famine as a natural experiment. Using a unique health survey, we explore the heterogeneity of famine intensity across regions and find strong evidence supporting both the adverse and selection effects. The two offsetting effects co-exist and their magnitudes vary in different age cohorts at the onset of famine. We find that the adverse effect dominates in the puberty cohort and the selection effect dominates in the prenatal/infant cohort. The net famine effects are more salient for rural residents than for urban residents. Gender differences are also found and sensitive to smoking and drinking behaviors. Our conclusion is robust to various specifications.

Keywords: Great Leap Forward Famine, Chronic Disease, Adverse Effect, Selection Effect, Gender Difference, China

JEL Classification: C21, I18, J13

Suggested Citation

Hu, Xuefeng and Liu, Gordon Guoen and Fan, Maoyong, Long-Term Effects of Famine on Chronic Diseases: Evidence from China's Great Leap Forward Famine (June 20, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2621044 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2621044

Xuefeng Hu

University of Ottawa ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Canada

Gordon Guoen Liu

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management ( email )

Peking University
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Maoyong Fan (Contact Author)

Ball State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Whitinger Business Building, room 201
2000 W. University Ave.
Muncie, IN 47306-0340
United States
765-285-5741 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/maoyongfan/home

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