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Conjugal Bereavement Effects on Health and Mortality at Advanced Ages

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Author Info

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    ()
    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • Portrait, France

    ()
    (VU University 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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2358.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Health Economics, 2011, 30 (4), 774-794
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2358

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

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References

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  1. Ecob, Russell & Davey Smith, George, 1999. "Income and health: what is the nature of the relationship?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(5), pages 693-705, March.
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  3. Orazio P. Attanasio & Carl Emmerson, 2001. "Differential Mortality in the UK," NBER Working Papers 8241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Norton, Edward C., 2000. "Long-term care," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 17, pages 955-994 Elsevier.
  5. Benzeval, Michaela & Judge, Ken, 2001. "Income and health: the time dimension," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(9), pages 1371-1390, May.
  6. Gritz, R. Mark, 1993. "The impact of training on the frequency and duration of employment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1-3), pages 21-51.
  7. Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 1996. "Marital status and mortality: The role of health," Demography, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 313-327, August.
  8. 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, vol. 56(4), pages S237-S248.
  9. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
  10. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
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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. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lundborg, Petter & Vikström, Johan, 2012. "The Economics of Grief," IZA Discussion Papers 7010, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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 2011:23, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Michele Belloni & Rob Alessie & Adriaan Kalwij & Chiara Marinacci, 2013. "Lifetime income and old age mortality risk in Italy over two decades," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(45), pages 1261-1298, December.

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