Infant Health, Cognitive Performance and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden. Sonia Bhalotra, Martin Karlsson, Therese Nilsson, Nina Schwarz. R&R at the Review of Economics and Statistics.
We identify earnings impacts of exposure to an infant health intervention in Sweden, using individual linked administrative data to trace potential mechanisms. Leveraging quasi-random variation in eligibility, we estimate that exposure was associated with higher test scores in primary school for boys and girls. However, only girls were more likely to score in the top quintile. Subsequent gains, in secondary schooling, employment, and earnings, are restricted to girls. We show that the differential gains for women accrued from both skills and opportunities, expansion of the welfare state having created unprecedented employment opportunities for women.
Infant Health and Longevity: Evidence from a Historical Intervention in Sweden. Journal of the European Economic Association, October 2017. S Bhalotra, M Karlsson and T Nilsson.
This paper investigates the potential of infant health interventions to improve life expectancy conditional upon infant survival, thereby contributing to emerging interest in the early life origins of chronic disease. We track individuals from birth to death and are able to identify age and cause of death. We estimate that the average duration of programme exposure in infancy led to a 1.56% point decline in the risk of infant death (24% of baseline risk) and a 2.56% point decline in the risk of dying by age 75 (7.0% of baseline risk). Intervention-led declines in the risk of dying after the age of 50 are dominated by reductions in cancer and cardiovascular mortality. We find no evidence of selective utilisation, and the estimates are similar when we exploit within-mother variation in outcomes.