Infant Health and Later-Life Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Introduction of Sulpha Antibiotics in Sweden

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This paper studies the effects of improvements in infant health produced by the introduction of sulphapyridine in the late-1930s as treatment against pneumonia on outcomes in adulthood. Based on longitudinal individual data for the whole population of Sweden 1968–2012 and archival data on the availability of sulphapyridine and applying a difference-in-differences approach, it finds that mitigation of pneumonia infection in infancy increased labour income in late adulthood by 2.8–5.3 percent. The beneficial effects are strong for health, measured by length of stay in hospital, and weaker for years of schooling. These effects are similar between men and women.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Publication statusPublished - 2018



  • sulpha antibiotics, early-life, infancy, labour income, human capital, Sweden

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