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Beyond the business cycle - factors driving aggregate mortality rates

  • Katja Hanewald

This article provides a comprehensive econometric analysis of factors driving aggregate mortality rates over time. It differs from previous studies in this field by simultaneously considering an extensive set of macroeconomic, socio-economic and ecological factors as explanatory variables. Germany is chosen as an indicative example for other industrialized countries due to its advanced demographic transition process. Our regression analysis, which covers the time interval 1956-2004, indicates that sex- and age-specific mortality rates vary substantially in their response to external factors. Strongest associations are found with changes in real GDP, flu epidemics and the two life style variables alcohol and cigarette consumption in both univariate and multivariate setups. Further analysis shows that these effects are primarily contemporary, while other indicators such as weather conditions exert lagged effects. By combining variables in a multivariate model the share of explained data volatility can be substantially increased.

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File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2008-031.pdf
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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2008-031.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2008-031
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  1. Olivier Desch�nes & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Extreme Weather Events, Mortality, and Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 659-681, November.
  2. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2002. "Deaths Rise in Good Economic Times: Evidence From the OECD," IZA Discussion Papers 654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  4. Hugh Gravelle & John Wildman & Matthew Sutton, . "Income, Income Inequality and Health: What can we Learn from Aggregate Data?," Discussion Papers 00/26, Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. Axel H. Boersch-Supan & Joachim K. Winter, 2001. "Population Aging, Savings Behavior and Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 8561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
  7. Yan, Yuk Yee, 2000. "The influence of weather on human mortality in Hong Kong," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 419-427, February.
  8. Andrew Leigh & Christopher Jencks, 2006. "Inequality and Mortality: Long-Run Evidence from a Panel of Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 533, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  9. 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.
  10. Eric Stallard, 2006. "Demographic Issues in Longevity Risk Analysis," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 73(4), pages 575-609.
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