Does grief transfer across generations? Bereavements during pregnancy and child outcomes
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2016, 8(1):193-223 10.1257/app.20140262
Using population data from Norway, we examine the effects of stress induced by the death of the mother’s parent during pregnancy on both the short-run and the long-run outcomes of the infant. Using a variety of empirical strategies to address the issue of nonrandom exposure to death during a pregnancy, we find small negative effects on birth outcomes. However, we find no evidence of adverse effects on adult outcomes. This suggests that, though there may be measurable effects on birth outcomes, acute psychological stressors during pregnancy have limited adverse consequences for the child’s success in education and the labor market.