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Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality

  • Gerard J. van den Berg
  • Maarten Lindeboom
  • France Portrait

We analyze the effect of economic conditions early in life on individual mortality rate later in life, using business cycle conditions early in life as an exogenous indicator. Individual records from Dutch registers of birth, marriage, and death, covering a window of unprecedented size (1912-2000) are merged with historical data on macroeconomic and health indicators. We correct for secular changes over time and other mortality determinants. We nonparametrically compare those born in a recession to those born in the preceding boom, and we estimate duration models where the individual's mortality rate depends on current conditions, conditions early in life, age individual characteristics, including individual socio-economic indicators, and interaction terms. The results indicate a significant negative effect of economic conditions early in life on individual mortality rates at all ages.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282806776157740
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar06_data_20040207.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 290-302

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:1:p:290-302
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282806776157740
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  1. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2004. "Sex Differences in Morbidity and Mortality," Working Papers 171, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  3. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2005. "The Value of Health and Longevity," NBER Working Papers 11405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David M. Cutler & Ellen Meara, 2004. "Changes in the Age Distribution of Mortality over the Twentieth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 333-366 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies’ Health," Working Papers 250, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  6. 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, vol. 34(02), pages 365-391, June.
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