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Do early life and contemporaneous macroconditions explain health at older ages?

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  • France Portrait

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  • Rob Alessie
  • Dorly Deeg

Abstract

The paper presents an approach which thoroughly assesses the role of early life and contemporaneous macro-conditions in explaining health at older ages. In particular, we investigate the role of exposure to infectious diseases and economic conditions during infancy and childhood, as well as the effect of current health care facilities. Specific attention is paid to the impact of unobserved heterogeneity, selective attrition and omitted relevant macro-variables. We apply our approach to self-reports on functional limitations of Dutch older individuals. Our analysis is performed using data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. The prevalence of functional limitations is found to increase in the nineteen-nineties, in part due to restricted access to hospital care.
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Suggested Citation

  • France Portrait & Rob Alessie & Dorly Deeg, 2010. "Do early life and contemporaneous macroconditions explain health at older ages?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 617-642, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:23:y:2010:i:2:p:617-642
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-008-0213-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kapteyn, Arie & Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria, 2005. "Explaining the wealth holdings of different cohorts: Productivity growth and Social Security," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1361-1391, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Verbeek, Marno & Nijman, Theo, 1992. "Testing for Selectivity Bias in Panel Data Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 681-703, August.
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    6. Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the U.K," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 635-666.
    7. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Duane F. Alwin & Ryan J. McCammon, 2001. "Aging, Cohorts, and Verbal Ability," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 56(3), pages 151-161.
    9. Robert W. Fogel, 1994. "The Relevance of Malthus for the Study of Mortality Today: Long-Run Influences on Health, Mortality, Labor Force Participation, and Population Growth," NBER Historical Working Papers 0054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Reinhard Hujer & Bernd Fitzenberger & Reinhold Schnabel & Thomas E. MaCurdy, 2001. "Testing for uniform wage trends in West-Germany: A cohort analysis using quantile regressions for censored data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 41-86.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark E. McGovern, 2012. "Don't stress: early life conditions, hypertension and selection into associated risk factors," Working Papers 201223, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. Brandt, Martina & Deindl, Christian & Hank, Karsten, 2012. "Tracing the origins of successful aging: The role of childhood conditions and social inequality in explaining later life health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1418-1425.
    3. Thomasson, Melissa A. & Fishback, Price V., 2014. "Hard times in the land of plenty: The effect on income and disability later in life for people born during the great depression," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 64-78.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early life macroconditions; Contemporaneous macroconditions; Functional limitations; I12; J11; J17;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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