Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2012:15: Long-run effects of gestation during the Dutch hunger winter famine on labor market and hospitalization outcomes

Robert S. Scholte , Gerard J. van den Berg () and Maarten Lindeboom
Additional contact information
Robert S. Scholte: VU University Amsterdam
Gerard J. van den Berg: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Maarten Lindeboom: VU University Amsterdam

Abstract: The Dutch Hunger Winter (1944/45) is the most-studied famine in the literature on long-run effects of malnutrition in utero. Its temporal and spatial dermacations are clear, it was severe, it was anticipated, and nutritional conditions in society were favorable and stable before and after the famine. This is the first study to analyze effects of in utero exposure on labor market outcomes and hospitalization, and the first to use register data covering the full dutch population to examine long-run effects of this famine. We provide results of famine exposure by sub-interval of gestation. We find a significantly negative effect of exposure during the first trimester of gestation on employment outcomes 53 or more years after birth. Hospitalization rates in the years before retirement are higher after middle or late gestational exposure.

Keywords: Nutrition; ageing; developmental origins; morbidity; income; health; employment

JEL-codes: I10; I12; J01; J10; J13; J14

35 pages, July 3, 2012

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