Pre- and Post-Birth Components of Intergenerational Persistence in Health and Longevity: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees

53 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2019

See all articles by Evelina Björkegren

Evelina Björkegren

Uppsala University

Mikael Lindahl

University of Bonn; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Emilia Simeonova

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Abstract

We use data on a large sample of Swedish-born adoptees and their biological and adopting parents to decompose the persistence in health inequality across generations into pre-birth and post-birth components. We use three sets of measures for health outcomes in the second generation: mortality, measures based on data on hospitalization and, finally, measures using birth outcomes for the third generation. The results show that all of the persistence in mortality is transmitted solely via pre-birth factors, while the results for the hospitalization measures suggest that at least three quarters of the intergenerational persistence in health is attributable to the biological parents.

Keywords: health inequality, intergenerational transmission, nature and nurture

JEL Classification: I10, I14

Suggested Citation

Björkegren, Evelina and Lindahl, Mikael and Palme, Marten and Simeonova, Emilia, Pre- and Post-Birth Components of Intergenerational Persistence in Health and Longevity: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12451. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3415796

Evelina Björkegren (Contact Author)

Uppsala University

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

Mikael Lindahl

University of Bonn ( email )

Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden
+46163307 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Emilia Simeonova

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

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