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Heterogeneity in the long term health effects of warfare

Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel () and Mutlu Yuksel

Economics & Human Biology, 2017, vol. 27, issue PA, 126-136

Abstract: This paper estimates the long-term heterogeneous legacies of exposures to war in utero and during early childhood on height in adulthood. Using a novel dataset on the regional WWII destruction in Germany, combined with the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we find that individuals who experienced warfare in utero and during childhood are an average of 2cm shorter as adults, suggesting that the negative scarring effect of WWII dominated the positive effect coming from a selection. Among war survivors, children from less privileged families who resided in highly destroyed regions, particularly girls, suffered the greatest health consequences of warfare. Our analyses also show that wartime children who lost their parents during the war years are an average of 1.3cm shorter as adults. However, the father’s conscription during WWII had no long-term effect on adult height.

Keywords: Warfare; Height; Children (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I12 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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