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HANDBOOK OF LABOR ECONOMICS, VOL 4B by David Card, Orley Ashenfelter

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4.2.1 Infections

Insofar as specific health shocks are considered, infections are the most commonly studied. In epidemiology, long-term health effects of infections—and the inflammation response they trigger—has been explored extensively, e.g. Crimmins and Finch (2006). Outcomes analyzed by economists include height, health status, educational attainment, test scores, and labor market outcomes. The estimated impacts tend to be large. Using geographic differences in hookworm infection rates across the US South, Bleakley (2007) found that eradication after 1910 increased literacy rates but did not increase the amount of completed schooling, except for Black children. The literacy improvement was much larger among Blacks than Whites, and stronger ...

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