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Health, Stress, and Social Networks: Evidence from Union Army Veterans

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  • Dora L. Costa
  • Matthew E. Kahn

Abstract

We find that veterans of the Union Army who faced greater wartime stress (as measured by higher battlefield mortality rates) experienced higher mortality rates at older ages, but that men who were from more cohesive companies were statistically significantly less likely to be affected by wartime stress. Our results hold for overall mortality, mortality from ischemic heart disease and stroke, and new diagnoses of arteriosclerosis. Our findings represent one of the first long-run health follow-ups of the interaction between stress and social networks in a human population in which both stress and social networks are arguably exogeneous.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14053.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14053

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  1. Anna Aizer & Janet Currie, 2002. "Networks or Neighborhoods? Correlations in the Use of Publicly-Funded Maternity Care in California," NBER Working Papers 9209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dora Costa, 2000. "Understanding the twentieth-century decline in chronic conditions among older men," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 53-72, February.
  3. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2004. "The Illusion of Sustainability," NBER Working Papers 10324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Carole Roan Gresenz & Jeannette Rogowski & José J. Escarce, 2007. "Social Networks and Access to Health Care Among Mexican-Americans," NBER Working Papers 13460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Subramanian, S.V. & Elwert, Felix & Christakis, Nicholas, 2008. "Widowhood and mortality among the elderly: The modifying role of neighborhood concentration of widowed individuals," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 873-884, February.
  6. Dora L. Costa & Joanna Lahey, 2003. "Becoming Oldest-Old: Evidence from Historical U.S. Data," NBER Working Papers 9933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2001. "Cowards and Heroes: Group Loyalty in the American Civil War," NBER Working Papers 8627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Siminski, Peter, 2010. "Employment Effects of Army Service and Veterans’ Compensation: Evidence from the Australian Vietnam-Era Conscription Lotteries," Economics Working Papers wp10-13, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

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