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Department of Economics, Lund University Working Papers, Department of Economics, Lund University

No 2012:23:
Critical Periods during Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height among Immigrant Siblings

Gerard J. van den Berg (), Petter Lundborg (), Paul Nystedt () and Dan-Olof Rooth ()

Abstract: We identify the ages that constitute critical periods in children’s development towards their adult health status. For this we use data on families migrating into Sweden from countries that are poorer, with less healthy conditions. Long-run health is proxied by adult height. The relation between siblings’ ages at migration and their heights after age 18 allows us to estimate the causal effect of conditions at certain ages on adult height. We effectively exploit that for siblings the migration occurs simultaneously in calendar time but at different developmental stages (ages). We find some evidence that the period just before the puberty growth spurt constitutes a critical period.

Keywords: early-life conditions; migration; parental education; adult health; height retardation; age; fetal programming; developmental origins; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: F22; I10; I12; I18; I20; I30; J10; N30; (follow links to similar papers)

44 pages, September 12, 2012

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