The associations between early life circumstances and later life health and employment in Europe

We use data from the Survey of Health, Aging, and Retirement in Europe to estimate for thirteen European countries the associations of early life circumstances—measured by childhood health and socioeconomic status (SES)—with educational attainment, and later life health and employment (at ages 50–64). In all countries and for men and women, favorable early life circumstances, and in particular a higher childhood SES, are associated with a higher level of education. In most countries and in particular for women, favorable early life circumstances are associated with better later life health, also when education is controlled for. The significant associations of favorable early life circumstances with a higher incidence of later life employment are mostly transmitted through education and later life health.

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