Early life conditions and later life inequality in health

Maarten Lindeboom, Reyn Van Ewijk

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Prenatal exposure to adverse conditions is known to affect health throughout the life span. It has also been shown that health is unevenly distributed at advanced ages. This chapter investigates whether health inequalities at old age may be partially caused by prenatal circumstances. We use a sample of people aged 71-91 from eight European countries and assess how shocks in GDP that occurred while the respondents were still in utero affect four important dimensions of later-life health: cognition, depression, functional limitations, and grip strength. We find that early-life macro-economic circumstances do not affect health at advanced ages, nor do they affect inequalities in health. In additional analyses, we show that the least healthy people may not enter our sample as the probability of dying before reaching age 71 is high, and mortality rates among those who were prenatally exposed to adverse GDP shocks are higher. We conclude that selective mortality may mask effects of early-life circumstances on health and health inequality at old age.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth and Inequality
PublisherJAI Press
Pages399-419
Number of pages21
Volume21
ISBN (Print)9781781905531
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameResearch on Economic Inequality
Volume21
ISSN (Print)10492585

Fingerprint

health
old age
mortality
Health
Inequalities in health
life-span
dying
macroeconomics
cognition
Old age
Health inequalities
Cognition
Mortality rate
Macroeconomics
Mortality
Functional limitations
Dying
European countries
Life span

Keywords

  • Economics of the elderly
  • Health and inequality
  • Health production

Cite this

Lindeboom, M., & Van Ewijk, R. (2013). Early life conditions and later life inequality in health. In Health and Inequality (Vol. 21, pp. 399-419). (Research on Economic Inequality; Vol. 21). JAI Press. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1049-2585(2013)0000021019
Lindeboom, Maarten ; Van Ewijk, Reyn. / Early life conditions and later life inequality in health. Health and Inequality. Vol. 21 JAI Press, 2013. pp. 399-419 (Research on Economic Inequality).
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Lindeboom, M & Van Ewijk, R 2013, Early life conditions and later life inequality in health. in Health and Inequality. vol. 21, Research on Economic Inequality, vol. 21, JAI Press, pp. 399-419. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1049-2585(2013)0000021019

Early life conditions and later life inequality in health. / Lindeboom, Maarten; Van Ewijk, Reyn.

Health and Inequality. Vol. 21 JAI Press, 2013. p. 399-419 (Research on Economic Inequality; Vol. 21).

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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Lindeboom M, Van Ewijk R. Early life conditions and later life inequality in health. In Health and Inequality. Vol. 21. JAI Press. 2013. p. 399-419. (Research on Economic Inequality). https://doi.org/10.1108/S1049-2585(2013)0000021019