ECON 4494W — Assignment 5

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Medical researchers and health economists have come to realize that early-life experiences -- including experiences in utero -- can affect health outcomes and economic outcomes later in life. Our next speaker, David Simon, will talk about his research in this area.

The articles below will get you started on the economic literature on this topic. Your paper should construct an argument about which kinds of policies might work best to improve health and economic outcomes in the life-cycle context. Alternatively, you might think about the differences between the way economists approach these kinds of questions and the way medical researchers tend to approach them. What issues do economists confront that biologists and medical researchers often do not?

Douglas Almond and Janet Currie, "Killing Me Softly: The Fetal Origins Hypothesis," The Journal of Economic Perspectives 25(3): 153-172 (Summer 2011).

Janet Currie and Maya Rossin-Slater, "Early-Life Origins of Life-Cycle Well-Being: Research and Policy Implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 34(1): 208–242 (Winter 2015).

If you want even deeper background on this literature, you can plunge in here.


Due April 12.