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Conjugal Bereavement Effects on Health and Mortality at Advanced Ages

Author

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  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    () (University of Bristol)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Portrait, France

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

We specify a model for the lifetimes of spouses and the dynamic evolution of health, allowing spousal death to have causal effects on the health and mortality of the survivor. We estimate the model using a longitudinal survey that traces many health status aspects over time, and that is linked to register data on the vital status of the individuals. The model takes account of selectivity in partners' mortality and health evolution. We find strong instantaneous effects of bereavement on mortality and on certain aspects of health. Individuals lose on average 12 % of residual life expectancy after bereavement. Bereavement affects the share of healthy years in residual lifetime, primarily because healthy years are replaced by years with chronic diseases.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France, 2006. "Conjugal Bereavement Effects on Health and Mortality at Advanced Ages," IZA Discussion Papers 2358, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2358
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    1. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Rise in Old-Age Longevity and the Market for Long-Term Care," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 295-306, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lundborg, Petter & Vikström, Johan, 2012. "The economics of grief," Working Paper Series 2012:23, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Simeonova, Emilia, 2013. "Marriage, bereavement and mortality: The role of health care utilization," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 33-50.
    4. Teresa Bago d'Uva & Esen Erdogan Ciftci & Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2015. "Who can predict their Own Demise? Accuracy of Longevity Expectations by Education and Cognition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-052/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. repec:jku:cdlwps:2015_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Gupta, Sumedha, 2015. "The role of marriage in the causal pathway from economic conditions early in life to mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 141-158.
    7. Michele Belloni & Rob Alessie & Adriaan Kalwij & Chiara Marinacci, 2013. "Lifetime income and old age mortality risk in Italy over two decades," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(45), pages 1261-1298, December.
    8. Bernhard Schmidpeter, 2015. "The Fatal Consequences of Grief," CDL Aging, Health, Labor working papers 2015-07, The Christian Doppler (CD) Laboratory Aging, Health, and the Labor Market, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    elderly couples; life expectancy; disease; health care; longevity; death; impairment;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies

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