University of Sydney
Department of Economics
Merewhether Building H04
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2017||Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II|
with Douglas Almond, Janet Currie: w23017
That prenatal events can have life-long consequences is now well established. Nevertheless, research on the Fetal Origins Hypothesis is flourishing and has expanded to include the early childhood (postnatal) environment. Why does this literature have a “second act?” We summarize the major themes and contributions driving the empirical literature since our 2011 reviews, and try to interpret the literature in light of an overarching conceptual framework about how human capital is produced early in life. One major finding is that relatively mild shocks in early life can have substantial negative impacts, but that the effects are often heterogeneous reflecting differences in child endowments, budget constraints, and production technologies. Moreover, shocks, investments, and interventions...