Research Highlights

Long-Term Health Consequences of Prenatal Exposure to the Korean War

  • Author : Chulhee Lee
  • Journal : Asian Population Studies / 13 (2017), 101-117


This paper investigates how in-utero exposure to the Korean War (1950-1953) affected health outcomes at old age. The probabilities of suffering from a particular type of functional limitation as well as having any disability were significantly higher in 2010 among the individuals born in 1951, who were in utero during the worst time of the war. The results of difference-in-difference estimations suggest that the magnitude of the adverse 1951 cohort effect on health is significantly larger for individuals whose places of birth were more seriously devastated by the war. The adverse long-term effects of in-utero exposure to the Korean War found in this study are unlikely driven by selection bias: the subjects of the 1951 birth cohort were not negatively selected in terms of parental characteristics in 1960.