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Is Posner Right? An Empirical Test of the Posner Argument for Transferring Health Spending from Old Women to Old Men

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  • Johannes Schwarze
  • Christoph Wunder

Abstract

Posner (1995) proposes the redistribution of health spending from old women to old men to equalize life expectancy. His argument is based on the assumption that the woman's utility is higher if her husband is alive. Using self-reported satisfaction measures from a long-running German panel survey, the Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), the present study conducts an empirical test of this assumption. Our matching-based estimation reveals satisfaction trajectories of women who experience the death of their spouse and identifies the causal effect of widowhood. The average level of satisfaction in a control group of non-widowed women serves as a reference to measure the degree of adaptation to widowhood. The results suggest bereavement has no enduring effect on satisfaction, and that is evidence against Posner's assumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Schwarze & Christoph Wunder, 2010. "Is Posner Right? An Empirical Test of the Posner Argument for Transferring Health Spending from Old Women to Old Men," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 335, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp335
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.364016.de/diw_sp0335.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vera Gács & Peter Huber, 2005. "Quantity adjustments in the regional labour markets of EU candidate countries," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(4), pages 553-574, November.
    2. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2004. "Migration and regional adjustment to asymmetric shocks in transition economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 230-247, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    widowhood; adaptation; subjective well-being; life satisfaction; satisfaction with household income; propensity score matching;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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