Collateral Damage: The German Food Crisis, Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes of German Post-War Cohorts

Hendrik Juerges, Universit├Ąt Wuppertal

We use data from the German 1970 census to study educational and labor market outcomes of cohorts born during the German food crisis after World War II.We document that those born between November 1945 and May 1946 have significantly lower educational attainment and occupational status than cohorts born shortly before or after. Several alternative explanations for this finding are tested. Most likely, a short spell of severe undernutrition around the end of the war has impaired intrauterine conditions in early pregnancies and resulted in long-term detriments among the affected cohorts. This conjecture is corroborated by evidence from Austria.

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Presented in Poster Session 4