Origins of Sickness: Evidence from China Famine Survivors in Sweden

Haodong Qi, Stockholm University

This paper examines the effects of early-life malnutrition on adult health with a unique study population, those born around China Famine 1959-61 and later migrated from China to Sweden. The homogeneity and positive selectivity of this population minimizes mortality selection bias between the exposed and unexposed group. The findings are in stark contrast to previous estimates that were likely to be conservative due to culling effect. Specifically, this study shows that famine births are associated with an increased number of sick days. And this scarring effect is stronger among male survivors than female.

Presented in Session 7: Early-Life Conditions and Later Life Health Effects