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Health and the economy: three essays

Grangård, Halfdan (2011) Health and the economy: three essays. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The main questions of this thesis are how a period of in utero malnutrition can impact the health of young children and their later development, and how job promotions can affect health. In the first chapter I analyse to what extent the South-East Asian financial crisis affected the height of Indonesian children who had in utero exposure to the crisis. I find that they are significantly shorter than children who were exposed at later ages. There is a large difference in effect for urban and rural children. This finding helps attribute the detrimental health effects to the crisis and not other events which occurred during the period of analysis. The second chapter exploits the exogenous shock of the crisis to analyse how early childhood height causes later cognitive development. I argue that this question should be analysed using instrumental variables. The results show a large and significant effect of early childhood height on cognitive ability and the use of instrumental variables changes the results significantly compared to OLS with or without fixed effects. Lastly, I analyse how on the job promotions of British civil servants affect health. In a cross-section, the direction of causality is almost certainly two-way. I argue that the use of individual fixed effects will alleviate this concern. The results show a large, positive effect of a job promotion on health in the subsequent survey phase.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Halfdan Grangård
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Sets: Departments > Economics
Collections > Economists Online
Supervisor: Burgess, Robin and Bandiera, Oriana

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