"Family Ruptures, Stress, and the Mental Health of the Next Generation"
Petra Persson, Maya Rossin-Slater April 2016. Forthcoming in American Economic Review
"Timing of prenatal maternal exposure to severe life events and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a population study of 2.6 million pregnancies."
Class QA1, Lichtenstein P, Långström N, D'Onofrio BM.
Psychosom Med. 2011 Apr;73(3):234-41. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e31820a62ce. Epub 2011 Feb 14.
Class et al. appear first to ever build this data set. Persson and Rosin-Slater have an almost identical data set (a few years added) and do not even cite Class et al.! A substantial portion of the AER paper is not even novel: the birth weight and family death part. The new paper mainly adds later life outcomes. These obscure papers are low-hanging fruit. Someone else already found an effect, just go in and re-do it in the usual economics style, add some robustness checks and new outcomes. The original authors are not in the profession and will never review the paper, so there is no need to worry about pissing off anyone by not giving credit.
After Institutional Review Board approval, a large-scale, population-based sample was constructed by linking several Swedish population registries. Information was drawn from: (1) the Multi-Generation Registry, which links extended family members to the target child using unique personal identification numbers, (2) the Swedish Medical Birth Registry, which contains birth outcome and pregnancy information including over 99% of all births in Sweden from 1973 to 2004, and (3) the Cause of Death Registry, which identifies the dates of death for relatives of the mother. Death of the father of the child or first degree relative of the mother (i.e. biological parent, full sibling, or already born biological child) was used as an indicator of stress during pregnancy (31).
P & RS
We have data on the universe
of children born in Sweden from 1973 to 2011, who experienced the death of a relative (other than
the mother) in the 40 weeks after their date of conception or in the one year after their date of birth.
Put differently, our baseline sample includes all children whose mother loses a family member—a sibling, a parent, a maternal grandparent, the child’s father, or an own (older) child—either during her pregnancy or in the year after childbirth.