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Vestiges of famine: Long-term mortality impacts of early-life exposure to the 1840s famine in Estonia

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

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Authors

Lust, Kersti 

Abstract

The paper investigates whether exposure to a famine in the Russian Tsarist Province of Livland in 1844–1846 in early life negatively affected survival at later ages, using individual data from two rural parishes. We follow 18 birth cohorts born between 1834–1852 until age 75 and differentiate between timing and length of exposures. We find that relative to individuals born in pre- or post- crisis years, there were no significant differences in survival from age 21–75. Cohorts with longer exposure to famine conditions had increased mortality only in short term, up to age 20. Males were more vulnerable in younger ages than females. The negative effect of adverse early life exposure on survival in later life was constrained to lower social group – the landless, but for the better-off groups the effect was constrained to younger ages. The paper highlights the importance of accounting for sex and socio-economic differences in studies exploring the effects of early life conditions on laterlife survival.

Description

Keywords

Crisis, Early-life effects, Famine, Mortality, Socioeconomic differences

Journal Title

Economics and Human Biology

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1570-677X
1873-6130

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier