Seoul Journal of Economics
[ Article ]
Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 30, No. 4, pp.431-453
ISSN: 1225-0279 (Print)
Print publication date 30 Nov 2017
Received 31 Oct 2017 Revised 05 Nov 2017 Accepted 08 Nov 2017

Long-run Mental Health Impact of the Korean War

Young-Il Albert Kim
Young-Il Albert Kim, Professor, Department of Economics, Sogang University, 35 Baekbeomro Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea, Tel: 82-02-705-8510, Fax: 82-02-705-8180

JEL Classification: D74, I10, I12


In this study, we investigate whether exposure to a major civil war has a long-run impact on the mental health of individuals who experienced the war in late childhood. We use difference-in-differences strategy and exploit geographic variations in the intensity of the Korean War using Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. War exposure in late childhood to early teenage years has a long-run negative impact on variables related to mental health, including depression, fear, insomnia, and loneliness. The effect is exacerbated by poverty and household structure for two outcome variables: fear and loneliness.


Korean War, Mental health, Sensitive age, Traumatic event


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