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Inequality in Individual Mortality and Economic Conditions Earlier in Life

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Author Info

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    ()
    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • López, Marta

    ()
    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

We analyze the effect of being born in a recession on the mortality rate later in life in conjunction with social class. We use individual data records from Dutch registers of birth, marriage, and death certificates, covering the period 1815-2000, and we merge these with historical data on macro-economic outcomes and health indicators. We estimate duration models and inequality measures. The results indicate that being born in a recession increases the mortality rate later in life for most of the population. Lower social classes suffer disproportionally from being born in recessions. This exacerbates mortality inequality. This is not affected by social mobility: upward mobility does not vary much with the business cycle at birth. It turns out that the average long-run economic well-being of the family at birth, the transitory economic shocks at birth, and their interaction, are all relevant determinants of the mortality rate throughout the whole life.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2425.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2425

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Keywords: longevity; recession; life expectancy; lifetimes; social inequality; death; social class;

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References

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  1. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, Elsevier, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
  2. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana LLeras Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies' Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1091-1130, August.
  3. Mackenbach, Johan P. & Kunst, Anton E., 1997. "Measuring the magnitude of socio-economic inequalities in health: An overview of available measures illustrated with two examples from Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 757-771, March.
  4. Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2006. "Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 290-302, March.
  5. Abbring, Jaap H. & van den Berg, Gerard J. & van Ours, Jan C., 2002. "The anatomy of unemployment dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1785-1824, December.
  6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mokyr, Joel, 1974. "The Industrial Revolution in the Low Countries in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century: A Comparative Case Study," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(02), pages 365-391, June.
  8. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2003. "From Cradle to Grave? The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," NBER Working Papers 9788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Gerard van den Berg & Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter & Kaare Christensen, 2011. "Being Born Under Adverse Economic Conditions Leads to a Higher Cardiovascular Mortality Rate Later in Life: Evidence Based on Individuals Born at Different Stages of the Business Cycle," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 507-530, May.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Doblhammer, Gabriele & Christensen, Kaare, 2009. "Exogenous determinants of early-life conditions, and mortality later in life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1591-1598, May.
  3. van den Berg, Gerard J, 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Exclusion Restrictions for Instrumental Variable Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Mark E McGovern, 2012. "Don't Stress: Early Life Conditions, Hypertension, and Selection into Associated Risk Factors," Working Papers, School Of Economics, University College Dublin 201227, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. Modin, Bitte & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2013. "Economic Conditions at Birth, Birth Weight, Ability, and the Causal Path to Cardiovascular Mortality," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 9650, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Bygren, Magnus & Gähler, Michael, 2007. "The gender gap in workplace authority in Sweden 1968-2000 – a family affair?," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2007:28, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. Mierau & Angelini, 2012. "Social and Economic Aspects of Childhood Health: Evidence from Western-Europe," Research Report 12002-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  8. Yeung, Gary Y.C. & van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France, 2012. "The Impact of Early Life Economic Conditions on Cause-Specific Mortality During Adulthood," IZA Discussion Papers 6520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. W. Yeung & Zhenhua Xu, 2012. "Economic Stress, Quality of Life, and Mortality for the Oldest-Old in China," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 131-152, August.
  10. Forslund, Anders & Johansson, Kerstin, 2007. "Random and stock-flow models of labour market matching - Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2007:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  11. Larsson, Laura & Runeson, Caroline, 2007. "Moral hazard among the sick and unemployed: evidence from a Swedish social insurance reform," Working Paper Series, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy 2007:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  12. Brandt, Martina & Deindl, Christian & Hank, Karsten, 2012. "Tracing the origins of successful aging: The role of childhood conditions and social inequality in explaining later life health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1418-1425.
  13. Schaan, Barbara, 2014. "The interaction of family background and personal education on depressive symptoms in later life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 94-102.

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