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Heterogenous Mechanisms in WWII Stress Transmission: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

44 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2016 Last revised: 1 Aug 2017

Vincenzo Atella

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS); Department of Economics and Finance; University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Edoardo Di Porto

University of Naples Federico II

Joanna Kopinska

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics; University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS)

Date Written: June 23, 2016

Abstract

This paper analyses how in utero exposure to maternal stress from WWII affects long-term health and economic outcomes and describes different mechanisms at work, showing that current health conditions are heterogeneously related to the type of fetal stressor.

We exploit the Italian armistice of September 8th 1943 as exogenous variation in the war intensity, providing WWII long-run causal effects on objectively measured health and economic outcomes. We find that in utero exposure to intense WWII events had long-lasting effects on health and that Nazi massacres predict late-onset depression, while nutritional deprivation suffered in large cities had lasting effects on diabetes. Finally, we innovate by showing that these effects increase with the age of the treated individuals.

Keywords: Fetal programming hypothesis; War exposure; Nazi massacres, Stress; Famine; Chronic diseases; Health expenditure, Long-term effects, Italy

JEL Classification: I1, O1

Suggested Citation

Atella, Vincenzo and Di Porto, Edoardo and Kopinska, Joanna, Heterogenous Mechanisms in WWII Stress Transmission: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (June 23, 2016). CEIS Working Paper No. 385. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2799641

Vincenzo Atella (Contact Author)

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome, I-00133
Italy
+39 06 72595648 (Phone)

Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Via Columbia 2
Roma, 00133
Italy

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
I-00133 Rome, 00133
Italy
+39 06 72595635 (Phone)
+30 06 2020 500 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.economia.uniroma2.it/sefemeq/professori/atella/

Edoardo Di Porto

University of Naples Federico II ( email )

via Cinthia, 4
Naples, Caserta 80126
Italy

Joanna Kopinska

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
Rome, rome 00100
Italy

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome
Italy

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