We identify the ages that constitute sensitive (or critical) periods in children’s development towards their adult health status. For this we use data on families migrating into Sweden from countries that are poorer, with less healthy conditions. Long-run health is proxied by adult height. The relation between siblings’ ages at migration and their heights after age 18 allows us to estimate the causal effect of conditions at certain ages on adult height. We effectively exploit that for siblings the migration occurs simultaneously in calendar time but at different developmental stages (ages). We find evidence that the period just before the puberty growth spurt constitutes a critical period. We also study adult cognitive score outcomes and we compare sensitive age periods for cognitive ability to those for height. Van den Berg: University of Mannheim (address: Dept of Economics, L7, 3-5, 68131 Mannheim, Germany; email@example.com), VU University Amsterdam, IFAU Uppsala, IZA. Lundborg: Lund University (address: Dept of Economics, P.O. Box 7082, SE-220 07 Lund, Sweden; firstname.lastname@example.org), VU University Amsterdam, IZA, Tinbergen Institute, Centre for Economic Demography at Lund University, Health Economic Program at Lund University. Nystedt: Linköping University (address: Dept of Economics, Linköping University, SE-581 83, Linköping Sweden; email@example.com), Health Economic Program at Lund University. Rooth: Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies, Linnaeus University (address: Kalmar Nyckel, SE-39182 Kalmar, Sweden; firstname.lastname@example.org), IZA, CReAM, Centre for Economic Demography at Lund University. Acknowledgements: We thank Tommy Bengtsson, Sandra Black, Anne Case, Peter Fredriksson, Pilar García Gómez, Jan Willem Gunning, Christina Paxson, Kjell Salvanes, Jonas Schreyögg, Martin Schumacher, Denny Vågerö, and participants in seminars at IZA Bonn, the Medical Department in Freiburg, MPIDR in Rostock, and conferences in Copenhagen, Bergen (Keynote Lecture Nordic Economics meeting), Cagliari, Munich, and Lund, for helpful suggestions. We are grateful to Statistics Sweden and Pliktverket (Military Service Sweden) for having allowed us to use their data. Ingvar Ahlstrand from Pliktverket provided helpful information. Thanks to Pia Pinger for computational assistance. A research grant from the Centre for Economic Demography at Lund University is gratefully acknowledged.
Linnéuniversitetet , 2014. , 43 p.