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Individual Mortality and Macroeconomic Conditions from Birth to Death

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

This Paper analyses the effects of macroeconomic conditions throughout life on the individual mortality rate. We estimate flexible duration models where the individual’s mortality rate depends on current conditions, conditions earlier in life (notably during childhood), calendar time, age, individual characteristics, including individual socio-economic indicators, and interaction terms. We use individual data records from Dutch registers of birth, marriage, and death certificates, covering an observation window of unprecedented size (1812-1999). These are merged with historical data on macroeconomic and health indicators. The results indicate a strong effect of macroeconomic conditions during childhood on mortality at all ages. Those who are born in bad times on average have a high mortality rate throughout life, in particular during childhood itself and at ages above 50. Current macroeconomic conditions mostly have an effect on youths and on the elderly.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4200.

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Date of creation: Jan 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4200
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  1. Orazio P. Attanasio & Carl Emmerson, 2001. "Differential Mortality in the UK," NBER Working Papers 8241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Abbring, Jaap H & van den Berg, Gerard J & van Ours, Jan C, 1995. "The Anatomy of Unemployment Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1202, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Christine Himes, 1994. "Age patterns of mortality and cause-of-death structures in Sweden, Japan, and the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 633-650, November.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  5. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2006. "The Value of Health and Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 871-904, October.
  6. Gabriele Doblhammer, 2003. "The late life legacy of very early life," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-030, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  7. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2000. "Duration Models: Specification, Identification, and Multiple Durations," MPRA Paper 9446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Wealthier is healthier," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1150, The World Bank.
  9. David Cutler & Ellen Meara, 2001. "Changes in the Age Distribution of Mortality Over the 20th Century," NBER Working Papers 8556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Diane Macunovich, 1999. "The Fortune of One's Birth: Relative Cohort Size and the Youth Labor Market in the United States," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 6, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  11. 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.
  12. 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, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  13. Frank Lichtenberg, 2000. "Sources of U.S. Longevity Increase, 1960 -1997," CESifo Working Paper Series 405, CESifo Group Munich.
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