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Inheritances, health and death

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  • Beomsoo Kim
  • Christopher J. Ruhm

Abstract

We examine how wealth shocks, in the form of inheritances, affect the mortality rates, health status and health behaviors of older adults, using data from eight waves of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS). Our main finding is that bequests do not have substantial effects on health status, although some improvements in quality-of-life are possible. This absence occurs despite increases in out-of-pocket (OOP) spending on health care and in the utilization of medical services, especially discretionary and non-lifesaving types such as dental care. Nor can we find a convincing indication of changes in lifestyles that offset the benefits of increased medical care. Inheritances are associated with higher alcohol consumption, but with no change in smoking or exercise and a possible decrease in obesity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (02)
Pages: 127-144

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:21:y:2012:i:2:p:127-144

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. McInerney, Melissa & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Nicholas, Lauren Hersch, 2013. "Recession depression: Mental health effects of the 2008 stock market crash," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1090-1104.
  2. Wankyo Chung & Beomsoo Kim, 2012. "Money Transfer and Birth Weight: A Causal Link from Alaska," Discussion Paper Series 1202, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  3. John Gathergood & Eleonora Fichera, . "House Prices, Home Equity and Health," Discussion Papers 12/07, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  4. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
  6. Dusan Paredes Araya & Timothy Komarek & Scott Loveridge, 2014. "Assessing the Income and Employment Effects of Shale Gas Extraction Windfalls: Evidence from the Marcellus Region," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 51, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2014.

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