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Heterogenous mechanisms in WWII stress transmission: evidence from a natural experiment

Vincenzo Atella (), Edoardo Di Porto () and Joanna Kopinska ()

No 385, CEIS Research Paper from Tor Vergata University, CEIS

Abstract: This paper analyses how in utero exposure to maternal stress from WWII affects long-term health and economic outcomes and describes different mechanisms at work, showing that current health conditions are heterogeneously related to the type of fetal stressor. We exploit the Italian armistice of September 8th 1943 as exogenous variation in the war intensity, providing WWII long-run causal effects on objectively measured health and conomic outcomes. We find that in utero exposure to intense WWII events had long-lasting effects on health and that Nazi massacres predict late-onset depression, while nutritional deprivation suffered in large cities had lasting effects on diabetes. Finally, we innovate by showing that these effects increase with the age of the treated individuals.

Keywords: Fetal programming hypothesis; War exposure; Nazi massacres, Stress; Famine; Chronic diseases; Health expenditure, Long-term effects, Italy. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I1 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-his
Date: 2016-06-23, Revised 2017-08-01
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Working Paper: Heterogenous Mechanisms in WWII Stress Transmission: Evidence from a Natural Experiment (2017) Downloads
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