Working Papers

Lazuka, V. 2022. Household and individual economic responses to different health shocks: The role of medical innovations. Old version: Lund Papers in Economic History, 2021. No 225. New version Appendices

Abstract: This study provides new evidence regarding the extent to which medical care mitigates the economic consequences of various health shocks. To obtain causal effects, I focus on the role of medical scientific discoveries and leverage the longitudinal dimension of unique administrative data on adults in Sweden, their partners, and their working-age children. The results indicate that medical innovations strongly mitigate the negative economic consequences of a health shock, including subsequent losses for the individual and close relatives, and income inequalities within these groups. Such mitigating effects are highly heterogeneous across diseases that cause health shocks. These results support the view that the economic repercussions of health shocks have been overlooked, and there is a lack of focus on the efficiency of medical care for specific health conditions.

Lazuka, V. and Jensen, P. 2021. Multigenerational effects of smallpox vaccination. Lund Papers in Economic History, 2021. No 232. Manuscript. Appendices

Abstract: This paper aims at finding whether vaccination in childhood is an important source of improved health over the life cycle and across generations. We leverage high-quality individual-level data from Sweden covering the full life spans of three generations between 1790 and 2016 and a historical quasi-experiment – a smallpox vaccination campaign. To derive the causal impact of this campaign, we employ the instrumental-variables approach and the siblings/cousins fixed effects. Our results show that the vaccine injection by age 2 improved longevity of the first generation by 14 years and made them much wealthier in adult ages. These effects, with the magnitude reduced by two thirds, persisted to the second and the third generation. Such magnitudes make vaccination a powerful health input in the very long term and suggest the transmission of environmental beyond genetic factors.

Lazuka, V., Elwert, A. 2022. The impact of introduction of sex education in school ages on labour force participation of women: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Sweden. Work in Progress.

Abstract: Sex education in school can translate new gender and social norms. In 1942, schools in Sweden could introduce sex education focusing on abstinence and individualism into the curriculum, a practice that spread gradually across municipalities afterwards and became mandatory in 1955. We analyze the impact of this reform on the socio-economic outcomes of women who were subject to it in school ages, including such outcomes as early fertility, marriage, educational attainment, and labour force participation. We apply a difference-in-differences method to the individual-level register data and follow individuals throughout their working ages. Preliminary results indicate that the exposure to sex education in school ages significantly affected the entry of women to the labour market while no similar changes can be found for men.

Lazuka, V., Bengtsson, P., and Svensson, P. 2021. How much did enclosures matter in Sweden? New ways to measure their impact on productionWorking paper.

Abstract: The answer to how much enclosures increased production varies by context and whether direct measures, such as output or income, or indirect measures, such as farm values and rents, are used. It also varies whether the period before and after enclosures are compared, or enclosed and non-enclosed villages at a certain point in time. This paper estimates the effects of two enclosures in southern Sweden, starting in 1803 and in 1827 respectively, making use of both the information on production before and after the enclosures and compares enclosed and non-enclosed villages. It controls for farm size, natural conditions, land ownership, and other factors that might influence the production using direct measures of annual production for 1,180 farms from 1784 to 1861. Applying a difference-in-differences method, we find that during the first decade after enclosure, the grain production increased annually 1.2 percent faster than it would otherwise have done, 2.4 percent faster during the second decade. Using an event-study method, which allows for flexible modelling of pre- and post-enclosure trends, production after the enclosures increased even faster already during the first decade, annually by 3.1 percent. Apparently, the enclosures fulfilled their purpose of increasing production.