The Relationship between Pet Ownership and Health Outcomes: German Longitudinal Evidence
AbstractPrevious cross-sectional and intervention studies have suggested that pet owners may enjoy better physical and mental health than non-owners. This paper presents longitudinal evidence from a major national representative longitudinal survey: the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Because the data are longitudinal, it is possible to assess the impact on health outcomes (measured by number of doctor visits) of longer term pet ownership, and also of gaining and losing a pet. An unexpected finding was that all health benefits appear to accrue to homeowners only. The main result, then, is that homeowners who have owned a pet for five years or more make significantly fewer doctor visits than non pet owners. However, losing a pet appears to impose immediate health costs. The results hold after controlling for other variables associated with use of health services, and also for health status at baseline. They still hold when a proxy for unobserved heterogeneity is included in equations.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 434.
Length: 17 p.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Pets; Health; Homeowners; Longitudinal; Poisson regression;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001.
"Health Care Reform and the Number of Doctor Visits - An Econometric Analysis,"
CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
3021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Rainer Winkelmann, 2004. "Health care reform and the number of doctor visits-an econometric analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 455-472.
- Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001. "Health Care Reform and the Number of Doctor Visits - An Econometric Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 317, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Rainer Winkelmann, 2002. "Health Care Reform and the Number of Doctor Visits – An Econometric Analysis," SOI - Working Papers, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich 0210, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
- Bruce Headey, 1999. "Health Benefits and Health Cost Savings Due to Pets: Preliminary Estimates from an Australian National Survey," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 233-243, June.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.