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Childhood Health Shocks, Comparative Advantage, and Long-Term Outcomes: Evidence from the Last Danish Polio Epidemic

Miriam Gensowski (), Torben Heien Nielsen (), Nete Munk Nielsen (), Rossin-Slater, Maya () and Miriam Wüst ()
Additional contact information
Miriam Gensowski: University of Copenhagen
Torben Heien Nielsen: University of Copenhagen
Nete Munk Nielsen: Statens Serum Institut
Rossin-Slater, Maya: Stanford University

No 11630, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: A large literature documents that childhood health shocks have lasting negative consequences for adult outcomes. This paper demonstrates that the adversity of childhood physical disability can be mediated by individuals' educational and occupational choices, which reflect their comparative advantage. We merge records on children hospitalized with poliomyelitis during the 1952 Danish epidemic to census and administrative data, and exploit quasi-random variation in paralysis incidence. While childhood disability increases the likelihood of early retirement and disability pension receipt at age 50, paralytic polio survivors obtain higher education and are more likely to work in white-collar and computer-demanding jobs than their non-paralytic counterparts.

Keywords: childhood health shocks; occupational sorting; comparative advantage; long-term effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I14 J24 I24 I10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age and nep-hea
Date: 2018-06
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Working Paper: Childhood Health Shocks, Comparative Advantage, and Long-Term Outcomes: Evidence from the Last Danish Polio Epidemic (2018) Downloads
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