Maternal Stress and Offspring Lifelong Labor Market Outcomes

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2020-065/V

84 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2020

See all articles by Vincenzo Atella

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

CSEF - University of Naples Federico II - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF)

Joanna Kopinska

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

Maarten Lindeboom

VU University Amsterdam

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 10, 2020

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of in-utero exposure to stress on lifelong labor market outcomes. We exploit a unique natural experiment that involved randomly placed Nazi raids on municipalities in Italy during WWII. We use administrative data on the universe of private sector workers in Italy and link this data to unique historical data with detailed information about war casualties and Nazi raids across space (Municipality) and time. We find that prenatal stress exposure leads to lower wage earnings when workers start their career, and that this effect persists until retirement. The earnings penalty is in large part due to the type of job that people hold and interruptions in their working career due to unemployment. We further show that workers exposed to in-utero stress face larger earnings reductions after job loss due to mass layoffs. This earnings loss deepens their relative disadvantage over time.

Keywords: Early-life, Stress, Life-long earnings, mass layoff, dynamic complementarities

JEL Classification: I1, J1

Suggested Citation

Atella, Vincenzo and Di Porto, Edoardo and Kopinska, Joanna and Lindeboom, Maarten, Maternal Stress and Offspring Lifelong Labor Market Outcomes (September 10, 2020). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2020-065/V, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3701898 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3701898

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
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Italy
+39 06 72595635 (Phone)
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HOME PAGE: http://www.economia.uniroma2.it/sefemeq/professori/atella/

Edoardo Di Porto

CSEF - University of Naples Federico II - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF) ( email )

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Joanna Kopinska

Sapienza University of Rome, DISSE ( email )

Rome
Italy

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

Via Columbia, 2
Rome
Italy

Maarten Lindeboom

VU University Amsterdam

Netherlands

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