Pets and Human Health in Germany and Australia: National Longitudinal Results
AbstractThe German and Australian longitudinal surveys analysed here are the first national representative surveys to show that (1) people who continuously own a pet are the healthiest group and (2) people who cease to have a pet or never had one are less healthy. Most previous studies which have claimed that pets confer health benefits were cross-sectional. So they were open to the objection that owners may have been healthier in the first place, rather than becoming healthier due to owning a pet. In both countries the data show that pet owners make about 15% fewer annual doctor visits than non-owners. The relationship remains statistically significant after controlling for gender, age, marital status, income and other variables associated with health. The German data come from the German Socio-Economic Panel in which respondents have been interviewed every year since 1984 (N = 9723). Australian data come from the Australian National Social Science Survey 2001 (N = 1246). --
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by ZBW - German National Library of Economics in its journal EconStor Open Access Articles.
Volume (Year): (2007-01)
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doctor visits; health; panel surveys; pet owners;
Other versions of this item:
- Bruce Headey & Markus Grabka, 2007. "Pets and Human Health in Germany and Australia: National Longitudinal Results," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 80(2), pages 297-311, January.
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- Johannes Schwarze & Hanfried H. Andersen & Silke Anger, 2000. "Self-Rated Health and Changes in Self-Rated Health as Predictors of Mortality: First Evidence from German Panel Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 203, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Wood, Lisa & Giles-Corti, Billie & Bulsara, Max, 2005. "The pet connection: Pets as a conduit for social capital?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(6), pages 1159-1173, September.
- Bruce Headey, 1999. "Health Benefits and Health Cost Savings Due to Pets: Preliminary Estimates from an Australian National Survey," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 233-243, June.
- Elke Holst & Dean R. Lillard & Thomas A. DiPrete, 2001. "Proceedings of the 2000 Fourth International Conference of German Socio-Economic Panel Study Users (GSOEP 2000): Editorial Introduction," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(1), pages 5-6.
- Bruce Headey & Fu Na & Richard Zheng, 2008. "Pet Dogs Benefit Owners’ Health: A ‘Natural Experiment’ in China," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 87(3), pages 481-493, July.
- Mieke Rijken & Sandra Beek, 2011. "About Cats and Dogs … Reconsidering the Relationship Between Pet Ownership and Health Related Outcomes in Community-Dwelling Elderly," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 102(3), pages 373-388, July.
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