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Persistence of pandemic influenza on the development of children: Evidence from industrializing Japan

Kota Ogasawara

Social Science & Medicine, 2017, vol. 181, issue C, 43-53

Abstract: In this study, we estimate the persistent effects of fetal exposure to the 1918–1920 influenza pandemic of Japan on the physical development of primary school children. By using a unique nationwide longitudinal physical examination dataset of children aged 6–13 in units of 47 prefectures between 1929 and 1939, this study is the first to adopt the bilateral-specific fixed effects approach to identify the impact of fetal influenza exposure on the physical development of children. We find that the children born in 1919–1920 were shorter than those in surrounding cohorts. Our result from the specification using regional heterogeneities in the timing and severity of the influenza pandemic also implies that the persistency of fetal exposure to shocks on children's development could vary by gender.

Keywords: Chest girth; Fetal origins; Gender; Height; Weight; Pandemic influenza; Long-run effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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