61 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2016 Last revised: 13 Jul 2016
Date Written: June 23, 2016
This paper analyses the effect of in utero and at birth exposure to WWII intensity on long-run health and economic outcomes. We link individual clinical electronic records collected by General Practitioners (GPs) for a large sample of Italian adults with detailed information on the intensity of exposure to WWII conflict, disaggregated by month and province of birth. Under weak assumptions, which we discuss and test carefully, our analysis provides a lower bound of the long-run causal effect of WWII intensity on adult health. We show that individuals exposed to intense WWII conflicts while in utero are more likely to present health problems In particular, we find that early life stress caused by the war increases the probability of Dislipidemia and Depression, while famine increases the probability of Diabetes and Obesity. We find that these effects are heterogeneous across the trimester of exposure during pregnancy and across moments of outcome realisation later in life.
Keywords: War exposure, Stress, Famine, Fetal programming, Charlson Index, Chronic diseases, Health expenditure, Italy
JEL Classification: I1, O1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Atella, Vincenzo and Di Porto, Edoardo and Kopinska, Joanna, Stress, Famine and the Fetal Programming: The Long Term Effect of WWII in Italy (June 23, 2016). CEIS Working Paper No. 385. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2799641