The long-term health effects of mass political violence: evidence from China’s cultural revolution

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Abstract

We examine the long-term health effects of mass political violence experienced in utero and in adolescence using China’s Cultural Revolution as a natural experiment. We find that individuals who were in utero in the Cultural Revolution have reduced lung capacity later in life. We also find that individuals who were adolescents in the Cultural Revolution have higher blood pressure and reduced ability to engage in activities of daily living later in life. Females who were adolescents in the Cultural Revolution have reduced lung capacity later in life, while males who were adolescents in the Cultural Revolution have reduced cognitive function later in life. We find that these effects are channelled through childhood health and education as well as height, which itself is a marker of childhood health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-272
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume132
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • Asia
  • China
  • Health
  • Old age
  • Political shock

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