The Greek Famine of 1941-1942 provides a natural experiment to test the fetal origins hypothesis. This hypothesis states that exposure to detrimental conditions during the fetal stage leads to worse health and socioeconomic outcomes in adulthood. This chapter first describes the Greek famine's causes. It then reviews the impact of the Greek famine on the education and labor market outcomes of the individuals exposed to the famine in utero or in early childhood. Corroborating Barker's hypothesis, the evidence indicates that the Greek famine significantly reduced educational attainment for those who experienced it before their third year of life. The famine also reduced labor market success for those with famine exposure in their early childhood. This finding is partly driven by a shift towards rural birthplaces in the famine years. The sum of the findings underscores the importance of averting early childhood malnourishment.

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Keywords Barker's hypothesis, Early childhood development, Education, Famine, Fetal origins hypothesis, Greece, Isei, Malnourishment, Natural experiment, Occupational status, Undernourishment, Undernutrition, World war ii
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-40007-5_75-1, hdl.handle.net/1765/124222
Citation
Neelsen, S, & Stratmann, M. (2019). The greek famine of 1941-1942 and its impact. In Handbook of Famine, Starvation, and Nutrient Deprivation: From Biology to Policy (pp. 47–59). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-40007-5_75-1