War During Childhood: The Long Run Effects of Warfare on Health

48 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2017


This paper estimates the causal long-term consequences of an exposure to war in utero and during childhood on the risk of obesity and the probability of having a chronic health condition in adulthood. Using the plausibly exogenous city-by-cohort variation in the intensity of WWII destruction as a unique quasi-experiment, I find that individuals who were exposed to WWII destruction during the prenatal and early postnatal periods have higher BMIs and are more likely to be obese as adults. I also find an elevated incidence of chronic health conditions such as stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorder in adulthood among these wartime children.

Keywords: warfare, body size, health conditions, children

JEL Classification: I10, I12, J13

Suggested Citation

Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude, War During Childhood: The Long Run Effects of Warfare on Health. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10807, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2979954

Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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