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Inequality in individual mortality and economic conditions earlier in life

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.
  • Lindeboom, Maarten
  • Lopez, Marta

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. Upward mobility does not vary much with the business cycle at birth.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 69 (2009)
Issue (Month): 9 (November)
Pages: 1360-1367

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:69:y:2009:i:9:p:1360-1367
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  1. 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, vol. 44(6), pages 757-771, March.
  2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Abbring, Jaap H. & van den Berg, Gerard J. & van Ours, Jan C., 2002. "The anatomy of unemployment dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1785-1824, December.
  5. Gerard J. van den Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2006. "Economic Conditions Early in Life and Individual Mortality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 290-302, March.
  6. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-91479 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana LLeras Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies' Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1091-1130, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Abbring, J.H. & van den Berg, G. & van Ours, J.C., 2002. "The anatomy of unemployment dynamics," Other publications TiSEM 539d10a7-be00-4a8e-9c9c-9, School of Economics and Management.
  10. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
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