Early-life Famine Exposure, Hunger Recall and Later-life Health

Tinbergen Discussion Paper 2021-054/V

53 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2021

See all articles by Zichen Deng

Zichen Deng

Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

Maarten Lindeboom

VU University Amsterdam

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 14, 2021

Abstract

We use newly collected individual-level hunger recall information from the China Family Panel Survey to estimate the causal effect of undernourishment on later-life health. We develop a Two-Sample Instrumental Variable (TSIV) estimator that can deal with heterogeneous samples. We find a non-linear relationship between the Great Chinese Famine and hunger recall. The non-linearity in famine exposure may explain the variation in the famine’s effect on later life health found in previous studies. We also find that exposure to famine-induced hunger early in life leads to worse health among females fifty years later. This effect is larger than the reduced-form effect found in previous studies. For males, we find no impact.

Note: Funding: There is no funding external body.

Declaration of Interests: This is a pure academic work and there are no competing interests from other parties

Ethics Approval Statement: The data are publicly available.

Keywords: famine, hunger, developmental origins, two-sample instrumental variable

JEL Classification: I12, J11, C21, C26

Suggested Citation

Deng, Zichen and Lindeboom, Maarten, Early-life Famine Exposure, Hunger Recall and Later-life Health (June 14, 2021). Tinbergen Discussion Paper 2021-054/V, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3870300 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3870300

Zichen Deng (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

Maarten Lindeboom

VU University Amsterdam

Netherlands

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