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Heightened mortality after the death of a spouse: Marriage protection or marriage selection?

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  • Espinosa, Javier
  • Evans, William N.

Abstract

We test whether the heightened mortality after the death of a spouse represents correlation or causation by examining the heterogeneity in the bereavement effect based on the spouse's cause of death. Some causes of death are correlated with socioeconomic characteristics while others are not. Equality in the bereavement effect across these two types of death would signal a causal relationship while no bereavement effect for uncorrelated causes of death would indicate an omitted variables bias. Results indicate that the observed effect for women is subject to an omitted variables bias but the estimates for men indicate a causal relationship.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 1326-1342

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:5:p:1326-1342

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Di Novi, Cinzia, 2010. "The indirect effect of fine particulate matter on health through individuals' life-style," POLIS Working Papers 144, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  2. Michael Rendall & Margaret Weden & Melissa Favreault & Hilary Waldron, 2011. "The Protective Effect of Marriage for Survival: A Review and Update," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 481-506, May.
  3. Felix Elwert & Nicholas Christakis, 2008. "Wives and ex-wives: A new test for homogamy bias in the widowhood effect," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 851-873, November.
  4. Cinzia Di Novi, 2011. "Quality and Reputation: The Indirect Effect of Fine Particulate Matter on Health through Individuals' Life-style," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia dell'Impresa e del Lavoro ieil0062, UniversitĂ  Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  5. Eran Shor & David Roelfs & Misty Curreli & Lynn Clemow & Matthew Burg & Joseph Schwartz, 2012. "Widowhood and Mortality: A Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 575-606, May.
  6. Simeonova, Emilia, 2013. "Marriage, bereavement and mortality: The role of health care utilization," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 33-50.
  7. Daysal, N. Meltem & Orsini, Chiara, 2012. "Spillover Effects of Drug Safety Warnings on Health Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 6409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Scholte, Robert & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Deeg, Dorly J. H., 2014. "Does the Size of the Effect of Adverse Events at High Ages on Daily-Life Physical Functioning Depend on the Economic Conditions Around Birth?," IZA Discussion Papers 8075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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