Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries

Early-Life Health and Adult Circumstance in Developing Countries

Janet Currie, Tom Vogl

NBER Working Paper No. 18371
Issued in September 2012
NBER Program(s):   AG   CH   HC   HE   LS

A growing literature documents the links between long-term outcomes and health in the fetal period, infancy, and early childhood. Much of this literature focuses on rich countries, but researchers are increasingly taking advantage of new sources of data and identification to study the long reach of childhood health in developing countries. Health in early life may be a more significant determinant of adult outcomes in these countries because health insults are more frequent, the capacity to remediate is more limited, and multiple shocks may interact. However, the underlying relationships may also be more difficult to measure, given significant mortality selection. We survey recent evidence on the adult correlates of early-life health and the long-term effects of shocks due to disease, famine, malnutrition, pollution, and war.

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