Instrumental Variable Estimation of the Causal Effect of Hunger Early in Life on Health Later In Life

42 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2016

See all articles by Gerard J. van den Berg

Gerard J. van den Berg

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Pia R. Pinger

University of Bonn

Johannes Schoch

University of Mannheim

Date Written: March 2016

Abstract

We estimate average causal effects of early‐life hunger on late‐life health by applying instrumental variable estimation, using data with self‐reported periods of hunger earlier in life, with famines as instruments. The data contain samples from European countries and include birth cohorts exposed to various famines in the twentieth century. We use two‐sample IV estimation to deal with imperfect recollection of conditions at very early stages of life. The estimated average causal effects may exceed famine effects by at least a factor three.

Suggested Citation

van den Berg, Gerard J. and Pinger, Pia R. and Schoch, Johannes, Instrumental Variable Estimation of the Causal Effect of Hunger Early in Life on Health Later In Life (March 2016). The Economic Journal, Vol. 126, Issue 591, pp. 465-506, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2742967 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12250

Gerard J. Van den Berg (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Tinbergen Institute

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Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Pia R. Pinger

University of Bonn ( email )

Johannes Schoch

University of Mannheim ( email )

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