Germs in the Family: The Short- and Long-Term Consequences of Intra-Household Disease Spread
Speaker(s)Meltem Daysal (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
LocationTinbergen Institute Amsterdam, room 1.01
Date and time
November 07, 2023
15:30 - 16:30
Preschool-aged children get sick frequently and spread disease to other family mem- bers. Despite the universality of this experience, there is limited causal evidence on the magnitudes of these externalities, especially on infant siblings with developing immune systems and brains. We use Danish administrative data to document that, before age one, younger siblings have 2-3 times higher hospitalization rates for respiratory condi- tions than older siblings. We combine birth order and within-municipality variation in respiratory disease prevalence among young children, and find lasting differential im- pacts of early-life respiratory disease exposure on younger siblings’ earnings, educational attainment, and mental health-related outcomes.