Volume 22 - Article 12 | Pages 289–320  

The effects of shocks in early life mortality on later life expectancy and mortality compression: A cohort analysis

By Mikko Myrskylä

Abstract

I study how shocks in cohort-level early life conditions, as represented by deviations from trend in mortality before age 5, affect later mortality. I use data for six European countries and find that shocks that increase infant mortality decrease later life expectancy between ages 5-30. The effect is strong for England and Wales but small or insignificant for other countries. Shocks that increase mortality at ages 1-5 increase life expectancy between ages 5-30 and compress the mortality distribution. For both shocks the effects are weak at older ages. These results suggest that early life conditions have a transitory effect and potentially only little influence on old-age mortality.

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