Hungry Children Age Faster

cege Discussion Papers, Number 322, September 2017

31 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2017

See all articles by Ana Abeliansky

Ana Abeliansky

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Holger Strulik

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) - School of Law, Economics, Social Sciences

Date Written: September 21, 2017

Abstract

We analyze how childhood hunger affects human aging for a panel of European individuals. For this purpose, we use six waves of the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) dataset and construct a health deficit index. Results from log-linear regressions suggest that, on average, elderly European men and women developed about 20 percent more health deficits when they experienced a hunger episode in their childhood. The effect becomes larger when the hunger episode is experienced earlier in childhood. In non-linear regressions (akin to the Gompertz-Makeham law), we obtain greater effects suggesting that health deficits in old age are up to 40 percent higher for children suffering from hunger. The wedge of health deficits between hungry and and non-hungry individuals increases absolutely and relatively with age. This implies that individuals who suffered from hunger as children age faster.

Keywords: health; aging; health deficit index; hunger episodes; childhood health

JEL Classification: I10, I19, J13

Suggested Citation

Abeliansky, Ana and Strulik, Holger, Hungry Children Age Faster (September 21, 2017). cege Discussion Papers, Number 322, September 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3040909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3040909

Ana Abeliansky (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Holger Strulik

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) - School of Law, Economics, Social Sciences ( email )

Germany

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