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An econometric analysis of the mental-health effects of major events in the life of older individuals




Major events in the life of an older individual, such as retirement, a significant decrease in income, death of the spouse, disability, and a move to a nursing home, may affect the mental health status of the individual. For example, the individual may enter a prolonged depression. We investigate this using unique longitudinal panel data that track labor market behavior, health status, and major life events, over time. To deal with endogenous aspects of these events we apply fixed effects estimation methods. We find some strinkingly large effects of certain events on the occurence of depression. We relate the results to the health care and labor market policy towards older individuals.

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  • Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard, 2002. "An econometric analysis of the mental-health effects of major events in the life of older individuals," Working Paper Series 2002:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2002_019

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anne Case, 2004. "Does Money Protect Health Status? Evidence from South African Pensions," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 287-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Gloria J. Bazzoli, 1985. "The Early Retirement Decision: New Empirical Evidence on the Influence of Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(2), pages 214-234.
    8. Hausman, Jerry A & Wise, David A, 1979. "Attrition Bias in Experimental and Panel Data: The Gary Income Maintenance Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 455-473, March.
    9. Mikael Lindahl, 2005. "Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as an Exogenous Source of Variation in Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    10. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    11. repec:pri:cheawb:case_money_protect_nber is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
    13. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    14. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
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    More about this item


    Death; retirement; income loss; disease; depression; health indicators; widowhood; care; panel data; endogeneity; fixed effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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