Early Childhood Health Shocks and Adult Wellbeing: Evidence from Wartime Britain

58 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2017

See all articles by Jeffrey C. Schiman

Jeffrey C. Schiman

Georgia Southern University - Department of Finance and Economics

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Anthony T. Lo Sasso

University of Illinois at Chicago - School of Public Health

Date Written: August 2017

Abstract

A growing literature argues that early environments affecting childhood health may influence significantly later-life health and socioeconomic status. In this article, we present new evidence on the relationship between infant mortality and later-life outcomes using variation in infant mortality in England and Wales at the onset of World War II. We exploit the variation in infant mortality across birth cohorts and regions to estimate associations between infant mortality and adult outcomes, such as health, disability, and employment. Our findings suggest that exposure to a higher infant mortality environment is significantly associated with higher likelihood of reporting poor health, a higher likelihood of reporting a disability, a lower probability of employment, and a higher probability of reporting no earned income. We also find that the effects of the infant health environment do not become manifest until after age 55.

Suggested Citation

Schiman, Jeff C. and Kaestner, Robert and Lo Sasso, Anthony T., Early Childhood Health Shocks and Adult Wellbeing: Evidence from Wartime Britain (August 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23763, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3031734

Jeff C. Schiman (Contact Author)

Georgia Southern University - Department of Finance and Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 815s
Statesboro, GA 30460
United States

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

365 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10016-4309
United States

Anthony T. Lo Sasso

University of Illinois at Chicago - School of Public Health ( email )

1603 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612
United States

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