Transgenerational effects of childhood conditions on third generation health and education outcomes

Gerard J. van den Berg*, Pia R. Pinger*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: ArticleAcademicpeer review

20 Citaten (Scopus)


This paper examines the extent to which pre-puberty nutritional conditions in one generation affect productivity-related outcomes in later generations. Recent findings from the biological literature suggest that the so-called slow growth period around age 9 is a sensitive period for male germ cell development. We build on this evidence and investigate whether undernutrition at those ages transmits to children and grandchildren. Our findings indicate that third generation males (females) tend to have higher mental health scores if their paternal grandfather (maternal grandmother) was exposed to a famine during the slow growth period. These effects appear to reflect biological responses to adaptive expectations about scarcity in the environment, and as such they can be seen as an economic correctional mechanism in evolution, with marked socio-economic implications for the offspring. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)103-120
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftEconomics & Human Biology
StatusPublished - dec.-2016
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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