57 Wash. U. J. L. & Pol'y 103 (2018)
Early Life Impacts on Later Life Health and Economic Outcomes

handle is hein.journals/wajlp57 and id is 113 raw text is: 


   Early  Life  Impacts on Later Life Health and Economic
                               Outcomes

                 Diane   Whitmore Schanzenbach*


                              INTRODUCTION

   What   are the lasting impacts of childhood  events?  Scientists across a
variety of  fields have  found  that  acute negative  life events  result in
important  later life harms. For example, childhood  exposure  to famine  or
food  deprivation  permanently scars those who survive, resulting in
increased  obesity,  schizophrenia   and   disability rates in  adulthood.'
Similarly, survivors  of the  1918  pandemic   flu grew  up  to earn  lower
wages,  and are more  likely to become  disabled in later life.2 Experiencing
extreme   malnutrition  in early  life has  been  shown to impact brain
development,   with brain  growth  diminished   among   children who   were
malnourished  in infancy.3
   Building  on these findings, an important next question is whether  more
commonplace deprivation during childhood-such as growing up in
poverty-also   impairs  adult outcomes?  If so, how  large are the impacts?
Can  they be ameliorated  by policies aimed  at reducing poverty? Are  there
particular ages when  deprivation  is particularly harmful? The  answers  to
these questions are vitally important to understand the level and timing  of
investments  in reducing poverty in early life. A growing body  of literature
seeks to address these questions, and suggests  that investments in children
are more  important to our nation's long-term  economic  well-being  than is
typically understood.4


   *    Schanzenbach is the Margaret Walker Alexander Professor of Social Policy and Director of
the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.
   1.   Douglas Almond & Janet Currie, Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis, J. 25 (3)
ECON. PERSP. 53, 154-55, 157, 166 (2011); Douglas Almond & Bhashktar Mazumder, Health Capital
and the Prenatal Environment: The Effect of Ramadan Observance During Pregnancy. 3(4) Am.
Econ. J.: Applied Econ. 56 (2011).
   2.   Douglas Almond, Is the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Over? Long-Term Effects of In Utero
Influenza Exposure in the Post-1940 U.S. Population, 114 J. POL. ECON. 672, 672 (2006).
   3.   Elizabeth L. Prado & Kathryn G. Dewey, Nutrition and Brain Development in Early Life, 72
NUTRITION REv. 267, 273 (2014).
   4.   See Douglas Almond et al., Childhood Circumstances & Adult Outcomes: Act II, (Nat'1 Bur.
of Econ. Research, Working Paper No. 23017, 2017); Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore
Schanzenbach, Safety Net Investments in Children, BROOKINGS PAPERS ON ECON. ACTIVITY
(forthcoming 2018), https://www.brookings.edu/bpea-articles/safety-net-investments-in-children/.


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