The Parental Co-Immunization Hypothesis
AbstractWe attempt to answer a simple empirical question: does having children make a parent live longer? The hypothesis we offer is that a parent's immune system is refreshed by a child's infections at a time when their own protection starts wearing thin. With the boosted immune system, the parent has a better chance to fend off whatever infections might strike when old and weak. Thus, parenthood is rewarded in individual terms. Using the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study (ONS-LS) data set following one percent of the population of England and Wales along four census waves 1971, 1981, 1991, and 2001, we are unable to reject this hypothesis. By contrast, we find in our key result that women with children have a roughly 8% higher survival probability of infections than women without children.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 13/27.
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
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Longevity; Infectious diseases; Family;
Other versions of this item:
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
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