What doesn't kill you makes you poorer: Adult wages and early-life mortality in India - Aix-Marseille Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Economics and Human Biology Year : 2016

What doesn't kill you makes you poorer: Adult wages and early-life mortality in India

Nicholas Lawson
  • Function : Author
Dean Spears

Abstract

A growing literature indicates that effects of early-life health on adult economic outcomes could be substantial in developing countries, but the magnitude of this effect is debated. We document a robust gradient between the early-life mortality environment to which men in India were locally exposed in their district and year of birth and the wages that they earn as adults. A 1 percentage point reduction in infant mortality (or 10 point reduction in IMR) in an infant's district and year of birth is associated with an approximately 2 percent increase in his subsequent adult wages. Consistent with theories and evidence in the literature, we find that the level of schooling chosen for a child does not mediate this association. Because of its consequences for subsequent wages, early-life health could also have considerable fiscal externalities; if so, public health investments could come at very low net present cost.

Dates and versions

hal-03586773 , version 1 (24-02-2022)

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Nicholas Lawson, Dean Spears. What doesn't kill you makes you poorer: Adult wages and early-life mortality in India. Economics and Human Biology, 2016, 21, pp.1-16. ⟨10.1016/j.ehb.2015.11.006⟩. ⟨hal-03586773⟩

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