Early-life health and adult circumstance in developing countries

Janet Currie, Tom Vogl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations


A growing literature documents the links between long-term outcomes and health in the fetal period, infancy, and early childhood. Much of this literature focuses on rich countries, but researchers are increasingly taking advantage of new sources of data and identification to study the long reach of childhood health in developing countries. Health in early life may be a more significant determinant of adult outcomes in these countries because health insults are more frequent, the capacity to remediate is more limited, and multiple shocks may interact. However, the underlying relationships may also be more difficult to measure, given significant mortality selection. We survey recent evidence on the adult correlates of early-life health and the long-term effects of shocks resulting from disease, famine, malnutrition, pollution, and war.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-36
Number of pages36
JournalAnnual Review of Economics
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


  • critical periods
  • fetal origins
  • health production


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