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Differential mortality by lifetime earnings in Germany

  • Hans-Martin von Gaudecker

    (Free University Amsterdam)

  • Rembrandt D. Scholz

    (Rostocker Zentrum zur Erforschung des Demografischen Wandels)

e estimate mortality rates by a measure of socio-economic status in a very large sample of male German pensioners aged~65 or older. Our analysis is entirely nonparametric. Furthermore, the data enable us to compare mortality experiences in eastern and western Germany conditional on socio-economic status. As a simple summary measure, we compute period life expectancies at age~65. Our findings show a lower bound of almost 50 percent (six years) on the difference in life expectancy between the lowest and the highest socio-economic group considered. Within groups, we find similar values for the former GDR and western Germany. Our analysis contributes to the literature in three aspects. First, we provide the first population-based differential mortality study for Germany. Second, we use a novel measure of lifetime earnings as a proxy for socio-economic status that remains applicable to retired people. Third, the comparison between eastern and western Germany may provide some interesting insights for transformation countries.

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File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol17/4/17-4.pdf
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Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

Volume (Year): 17 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 83-108

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Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:17:y:2007:i:4
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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  1. Dmitri A. Jdanov & Rembrandt D. Scholz & Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, 2005. "Official population statistics and the Human Mortality Database estimates of populations aged 80+ in Germany and nine other European countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(14), pages 335-362, November.
  2. Palme, Mårten & Sandgren, Sofia, 2007. "Parental Income, Lifetime Income and Mortality," Research Papers in Economics 2007:4, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  3. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Reil-Held, Anette, 2000. "Einkommen und Sterblichkeit in Deutschland: Leben Reiche länger?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 00-14, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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  10. Dmitri A. Jdanov & Rembrandt D. Scholz & Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, 2005. "Official population statistics and the Human Mortality Database estimates of populations aged 80+ in Germany and nine other European countries," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-010, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  11. Eduardo Arriaga, 1984. "Measuring and explaining the change in life expectancies," Demography, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 83-96, February.
  12. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
  13. James P. Smith, 2005. "Unraveling the SES-Health Connection," Labor and Demography 0505018, EconWPA.
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  15. Nolte, Ellen & McKee, Martin, 2004. "Changing health inequalities in east and west Germany since unification," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 119-136, January.
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