Multigenerational Effects of Early Life Health Shocks
A large literature has documented links between harmful early life exposures and later life health and socioeconomic deficits. These studies, however, are typically unable to examine the possibility that these shocks are transmitted to the next generation. Our study traces the impacts of in utero exposure to the 1918 influenza pandemic on the outcomes of the children and grandchildren of those affected using representative survey data from the US. We find evidence of multigenerational effects on educational, economic, and health outcomes.
This research uses data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 1991, the WLS has been supported principally by the National Institute on Aging (AG-9775, AG-21079, AG-033285, and AG-041868), with additional support from the Vilas Estate Trust, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Graduate School of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 1992, data have been collected by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. A public use file of data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study is available from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 and at http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/wlsresearch/data/. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors. Forgues acknowledges support from the National Institute on Aging Training Grant, T32 AG00129, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Fletcher acknowledges support from the Center for Demography of Health and Aging (P30 AG17266) The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
C. Justin Cook & Jason M. Fletcher & Angela Forgues, 2019. "Multigenerational Effects of Early-Life Health Shocks," Demography, vol 56(5), pages 1855-1874. citation courtesy of