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Subjective well-being and mortality in Chinese oldest old


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  • Qiang Li

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    The present study investigates the relationship between subjective well-being (SWB) and mortality risk, using a large sample (N=7852) from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Study (age range 80-105) conducted in 2000 and 2002. Initially, we intended to contribute to the understanding of system relations between SWB, mortality risk, and unobserved heterogeneity by treating SWB as an endogenous variable, using a multi-process model. However, failure to identify unobserved heterogeneity in the mortality equation prevents us from employing this model. Given this limitation, the study examines three issues. First, we argue that the mortality model with duration dependency on the age of the study subjects is specified and that the model with duration dependency on time since the interview is misspecified. Second, we address problems associated with the identification of unobserved heterogeneity in the mortality equation. Third, we examine the association between SWB and mortality risk in the Chinese oldest old as well as the risk pattern by gender, without considering unobserved heterogeneity. We find that SWB is not a significant predictor of mortality risk when we control for socio-demographic characteristics and health status. Health plays a very important role in the relationship between SWB and mortality risk in the oldest old. Gender differences in the predictive pattern of SWB on this risk are negligible in the sample.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2005-011.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2005-011

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    Keywords: China; mortality;

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    1. Jan Beise & Eckart Voland, 2002. "A multilevel event history analysis of the effects of grandmothers on child mortality in a historical German population (Krummhörn, Ostfriesland, 1720-1874)," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-023, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Xiao Zhenyu & J. W. Vaupel & Zeng Yi, 2001. "The Healthy Longevity Survey and the Active Life Expectancy of the Oldest Old in China," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 13(1), pages 95-116.
    3. Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 1996. "Marital status and mortality: The role of health," Demography, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 313-327, August.
    4. Jan Beise & Eckart Voland, 2002. "A multilevel event history analysis of the effects of grandmothers on child mortality in a historical German population," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 7(13), pages 469-498, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2009. "Ageing, Health and Life Satisfaction of the Oldest Old: An Analysis for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Chang-Keun Han & Song-Iee Hong, 2011. "Assets and Life Satisfaction Patterns Among Korean Older Adults: Latent Class Analysis," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 100(2), pages 225-240, January.


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