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Project Proposal

Intergenerational Effects of Malnutrition and Disease

Gisella Kagy (Economics)

Project Description

Recent research shows the impacts of harmful early life health conditions, including while in utero, are myriad and include increased mortality, decreased cognitive functioning, increased morbidity and negative labor market outcomes. However, little is understood about the intergenerational persistence of these effects. Understanding the intergenerational transmission of health from parent to child is critical to comprehend the overall development process. In particular, a deeper knowledge of the intergenerational persistence of maternal and infant malnutrition and increased exposure to disease will help provide a comprehensive understanding of the welfare impacts of malnutrition and disease that is still prevalent in less developed countries today. 

This project seeks to synthesize current research on the intergenerational transmission of health from parent to child. The project will review current research, and identify areas in the literature that have not yet been explored. A particular focus will be on research from South Asia. This project will serve as background information on a larger research article about the intergenerational effects of the 1974-1975 Bangladesh Famine.

Anticipated Project Activities

This project will synthesize research findings and analytical approaches in the general field of intergenerational transmission of health. Tasks will include performing an extensive literature review, writing a comprehensive report of the literature and identifying questions that have yet to be sufficiently answered.

Preferred Student Qualifications and Skills

Preferred student skills include an interest in heath related topics in less developed countries, ability to synthesize a research article and follow related sources, and basic knowledge of economic research techniques.

Anticipated Follow-up Teaching/Professional Activity for Student

The student will gain many skills related to the research process, such as how to integrate many different research findings into one comprehensive written document. This process can easily be applied to a senior thesis or internship.

Project Location

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Project Duration

Four weeks

Project Start Date

May 30, 2017

Project End Date

June 27, 2017