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Individual Behavior as a Pathway between Early-Life Shocks and Adult Health: Evidence from Hunger Episodes in Post-War Germany

Iris Kesternich (), Bettina M. Siflinger (), James Smith () and Joachim Winter ()
Additional contact information
Bettina M. Siflinger: Tilburg University

No 7713, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We investigate long-run effects of episodes of hunger experienced as a child on health status and behavioral outcomes in later life. We combine self-reported data on hunger experiences from SHARELIFE, a retrospective survey conducted as part of SHARE in Europe in 2009, with administrative data on food supply (caloric rations) in post-war Germany. The data suggest that individual behavior is a pathway between early life shocks and adult health: We find that those who experienced hunger spend a larger fraction of income on food. Taken together, our results confirm that in addition to the well-documented biological channel from early life circumstances to adult health, there is also a behavioral pathway.

Keywords: income; health; war (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2013-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-hea and nep-ltv
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in: Economic Journal, Volume 125, Issue 588, November 2015, Pages: F372–F393

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Working Paper: Individual Behavior as a Pathway Between Early-Life Shocks and Adult Health Evidence from Hunger Episodes in Post-War Germany (2013) Downloads
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