NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Heather DeSomer

NBER
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NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2019The Impact of a Wartime Health Shock on the Postwar Socioeconomic Status and Mortality of Union Army Veterans and their Children
with Dora Costa, Noelle Yetter: w25480
We investigate when and how health shocks reverberate across the life cycle and down to descendants by examining the impact of war wounds on the socioeconomic status and older age mortality of US Civil War (1861-5) veterans and of their adult children. Younger veterans who had been wounded in the war left the farm sector, becoming laborers. Consistent with human capital and job matching models, older wounded men were unlikely to switch sectors and experienced wealth declines. Fathers' severe wartime wounds affected daughters', but not sons', socioeconomic status. Daughters were shorter-lived if their fathers were older at the end of the war and had been severely wounded compared to daughters of fathers not severely wounded or younger when severely wounded. We suspect that early life co...
August 2016Union Army Veterans, All Grown Up
with Dora L. Costa, Eric Hanss, Christopher Roudiez, Sven E. Wilson, Noelle Yetter: w22497
This paper overviews the research opportunities made possible by a NIA-funded program project, Early Indicators, Intergenerational Processes, and Aging. Data collection began almost three decades ago on 40,000 soldiers from the Union Army in the US Civil War. The sample contains extensive demographic, economic, and medical data from childhood to death. In recent years, a large sample of African-American soldiers and an oversampling of soldiers from major US cities have been added. Hundreds of historical maps containing public health data have been geocoded to place soldiers and their family members in a geospatial context. With newly granted funding, thousands of veterans will be linked to the demographic information available from the census and vital records of their children.

Published: Dora L. Costa & Heather DeSomer & Eric Hanss & Christopher Roudiez & Sven E. Wilson & Noelle Yetter, 2017. "Union Army veterans, all grown up," Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, vol 50(2), pages 79-95. citation courtesy of

 
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