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Socioeconomic Decline and Death: Midlife Impacts of Graduating in a Recession

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  • Schwandt, Hannes
  • von Wachter, Till

Abstract

This paper uses several large cross-sectional data sources and a new approach to estimate midlife effects of entering the labor market in a recession on mortality by cause and various measures of socioeconomic status. We find that cohorts coming of age during the deep recession of the early 1980s suffer increases in mortality that appear in their late 30s and further strengthen through age 50. We show these mortality impacts are driven by disease-related causes such as heart disease, lung cancer, and liver disease, as well as drug overdoses. At the same time, unlucky middle-aged labor market entrants earn less and work more while receiving less welfare support. They are also less likely to be married, more likely to be divorced, and experience higher rates of childlessness. Our findings demonstrate that temporary disadvantages in the labor market during young adulthood can have substantial impacts on lifetime outcomes, can affect life and death in middle age, and go beyond the transitory initial career effects typically studied.

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  • Schwandt, Hannes & von Wachter, Till, 2020. "Socioeconomic Decline and Death: Midlife Impacts of Graduating in a Recession," CEPR Discussion Papers 14325, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14325
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    4. Jaime Arellano-Bover, 2022. "The Effect of Labor Market Conditions at Entry on Workers' Long-Term Skills," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1028-1045, December.
    5. ASAI Yukiko & Dmitri K. KOUSTAS, 2021. "Temporary Work Contracts and Female Labor Market Outcomes," Discussion papers 21071, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. Bautista, María Angélica & González, Felipe & Martinez, Luis R. & Muñoz, Pablo & Prem, Mounu, 2020. "Does Higher Education Reduce Mortality? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Chile," SocArXiv 5s2px, Center for Open Science.
    7. Maria Cotofan & Lea Cassar & Robert Dur & Stephan Meier, 2023. "Macroeconomic Conditions When Young Shape Job Preferences for Life," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 467-473, March.
    8. Choi, Eleanor Jawon & Choi, Jaewoo & Son, Hyelim, 2020. "The long-term effects of labor market entry in a recession: Evidence from the Asian financial crisis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    9. Jason Fletcher & Hans G. Schwarz & Michal Engelman & Norman Johnson & Jahn Hakes & Alberto Palloni, 2022. "Understanding Geographic Disparities in Mortality," NBER Working Papers 30572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Chernina, Eugenia & Gimpelson, Vladimir, 2022. "Do Wages Grow with Experience? Deciphering the Russian Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 15068, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Janet Currie & Hannes Schwandt, 2021. "The Opioid Epidemic Was Not Caused by Economic Distress but by Factors That Could Be More Rapidly Addressed," The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, , vol. 695(1), pages 276-291, May.
    12. Petru Crudu, 2023. "Long-term effects of early adverse labour market conditions: A Causal Machine Learning approach," Working Papers 2023:21, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    13. Till von Wachter, 2020. "The Persistent Effects of Initial Labor Market Conditions for Young Adults and Their Sources," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 168-194, Fall.
    14. Kim, Jinyoung & Kwak, Eunhye, 2023. "Long-Term Effects of Recession on Parenthood Gender Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 16055, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Chernina, Eugenia & Gimpelson, Vladimir, 2023. "Do wages grow with experience? Deciphering the Russian puzzle," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 545-563.
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    17. Kristiina Huttunen & Stefano Lombardi, 2021. "Mortality Inequality in Finland," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(1), pages 223-244, March.
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    19. Colleen Carey & Nolan H. Miller & David Molitor, 2022. "Why Does Disability Increase During Recessions? Evidence from Medicare," NBER Working Papers 29988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Joshua Mask, 2022. "How Increased Labor Demand at the Start of Your Career Can Improve Long Run Outcomes," DETU Working Papers 2201, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    21. Till von Wachter, 2020. "Lost Generations: Long‐Term Effects of the COVID‐19 Crisis on Job Losers and Labour Market Entrants, and Options for Policy," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(3), pages 549-590, September.
    22. Beata Skubiak, 2021. "Revitalization Education in Problem Areas as a Tool for the Implementation of Social Welfare," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(20), pages 1-19, October.
    23. Christian R. Proaño, 2020. "On the Macroeconomic and Social Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Latin America and the Developing World," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 55(3), pages 159-162, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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