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Conjugal Bereavement Effects on Health and Mortality at Advanced Ages

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Author Info

  • Gerard J. van den Berg

    ()
    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Maarten Lindeboom

    ()
    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • France Portrait

    ()
    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

We specify a model for the lifetimes of spouses and the dynamic evolution of health, allowing spousal death to have causal effects on the health and mortality of the survivor. We estimate the model using a longitudinal survey that traces many health status aspects over time, and that is linked to register data on the vital status of the individuals. The model takes account of selectivity in partners' mortality and health evolution. We find strong instantaneous effects of bereavement on mortality and on certain aspects of health. Individuals lose on average 12% of residual life expectancy after bereavement. Bereavement affects the share of healthy years in residual lifetime, primarily because healthy years are replaced by years with chronic diseases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 07-009/3.

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Date of creation: 17 Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20070009

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

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Keywords: death; longevity; health care; disease; life expectancy; elderly couples; impairment;

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References

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  4. Deborah Carr & James S. House & Camille Wortman & Randolph Nesse & Ronald C. Kessler, 2001. "Psychological Adjustment to Sudden and Anticipated Spousal Loss Among Older Widowed Persons," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 56(4), pages S237-S248.
  5. Gaure, Simen & Røed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2005. "Time and Causality: A Monte Carlo Assessment of the Timing-of-Events Approach," Memorandum, Oslo University, Department of Economics 19/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  6. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  7. Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 1996. "Marital status and mortality: The role of health," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 313-327, August.
  8. Norton, Edward C., 2000. "Long-term care," Handbook of Health Economics, Elsevier, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 955-994 Elsevier.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The economics of bereavement
    by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-06-20 05:59:52
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Cited by:
  1. Simeonova, Emilia, 2013. "Marriage, bereavement and mortality: The role of health care utilization," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 33-50.
  2. Michele Belloni & Rob Alessie & Adriaan Kalwij & Chiara Marinacci, 2012. "Lifetime income and old age mortality risk in Italy over two decades," CeRP Working Papers 129, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  3. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Gupta, Sumedha, 2011. "The role of marriage in the causal pathway from economic conditions early in life to mortality," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2011:23, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lundborg, Petter & Vikström, Johan, 2012. "The economics of grief," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2012:23, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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