Birth weight and adult income : An examination of mediation through adult height and body mass
Pehkonen, Jaakko; Viinikainen, Jutta; Kari, Jaana T.; Böckerman, Petri; Lehtimäki, Terho; Raitakari, Olli (2021)
Kari, Jaana T.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
This paper examines the causal links between early human endowments and socioeconomic outcomes in adulthood. We use a genotyped longitudinal survey (Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study) that is linked to the administrative registers of Statistics Finland. We focus on the effect of birth weight on income via two anthropometric mediators: body mass index (BMI) and height in adulthood. We find that (i) the genetic instruments for birth weight, adult height, and adult BMI are statistically powerful; (ii) there is a robust total effect of birth weight on income for men but not for women; (iii) the total effect of birth weight on income for men is partly mediated via height but not via BMI; and (iv) the share of the total effect mediated via height is substantial, of approximately 56%.
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