Instrumental Variable Estimation of the Causal Effect of Hunger Early in Life on Health Later in Life

Gerard J. van den Berg*, Pia R. Pinger, Johannes Schoch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

We estimate average causal effects of early-life hunger on late-life health by applying instrumental variable estimation, using data with self-reported periods of hunger earlier in life, with famines as instruments. The data contain samples from European countries and include birth cohorts exposed to various famines in the twentieth century. We use two-sample IV estimation to deal with imperfect recollection of conditions at very early stages of life. The estimated average causal effects may exceed famine effects by at least a factor three.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-506
Number of pages42
JournalEconomic Journal
Volume126
Issue number591
Early online date3 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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