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Inequality in Individual Mortality and Economic Conditions Earlier in Life

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  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    () (University of Bristol)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • López, Marta

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

We analyze the effect of being born in a recession on the mortality rate later in life in conjunction with social class. We use individual data records from Dutch registers of birth, marriage, and death certificates, covering the period 1815-2000, and we merge these with historical data on macro-economic outcomes and health indicators. We estimate duration models and inequality measures. The results indicate that being born in a recession increases the mortality rate later in life for most of the population. Lower social classes suffer disproportionally from being born in recessions. This exacerbates mortality inequality. This is not affected by social mobility: upward mobility does not vary much with the business cycle at birth. It turns out that the average long-run economic well-being of the family at birth, the transitory economic shocks at birth, and their interaction, are all relevant determinants of the mortality rate throughout the whole life.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lindeboom, Maarten & López, Marta, 2006. "Inequality in Individual Mortality and Economic Conditions Earlier in Life," IZA Discussion Papers 2425, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2425
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fitzsimons, Emla & Malde, Bansi & Mesnard, Alice & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2016. "Nutrition, information and household behavior: Experimental evidence from Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 113-126.
    2. Matthew J. Hill, 2014. "Easterlin revisted: Relative income and the baby boom," Economics Working Papers 1453, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Bygren, Magnus & Gähler, Michael, 2007. "The gender gap in workplace authority in Sweden 1968-2000 – a family affair?," Working Paper Series 2007:28, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    4. Gerard van den Berg & Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter & Kaare Christensen, 2011. "Being Born Under Adverse Economic Conditions Leads to a Higher Cardiovascular Mortality Rate Later in Life: Evidence Based on Individuals Born at Different Stages of the Business Cycle," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 507-530, May.
    5. Forslund, Anders & Johansson, Kerstin, 2007. "Random and stock-flow models of labour market matching - Swedish evidence," Working Paper Series 2007:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    6. Modin, Bitte & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2013. "Economic Conditions at Birth, Birth Weight, Ability, and the Causal Path to Cardiovascular Mortality," CEPR Discussion Papers 9650, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. McGovern, Mark E., 2014. "Comparing the relationship between stature and later life health in six low and middle income countries," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 4(C), pages 128-148.
    8. Caroline Hall & Laura Hartman, 2010. "Moral hazard among the sick and unemployed: evidence from a Swedish social insurance reform," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 27-50, August.
    9. Angelini, V. & Mierau, J.O., 2012. "Social and economic aspects of childhood health," Research Report 12002-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    10. van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Exclusion Restrictions for Instrumental Variable Estimation," IZA Discussion Papers 2585, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. 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.
    12. Mark E. McGovern, 2012. "Don't stress: early life conditions, hypertension and selection into associated risk factors," Working Papers 201223, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    13. Brandt, Martina & Deindl, Christian & Hank, Karsten, 2012. "Tracing the origins of successful aging: The role of childhood conditions and social inequality in explaining later life health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1418-1425.
    14. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Doblhammer, Gabriele & Christensen, Kaare, 2009. "Exogenous determinants of early-life conditions, and mortality later in life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1591-1598, May.
    15. Gary Yeung & Gerard Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2014. "The impact of early-life economic conditionson cause-specific mortality during adulthood," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 895-919, July.
    16. Schaan, Barbara, 2014. "The interaction of family background and personal education on depressive symptoms in later life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 94-102.
    17. Chen, Wen-Yi, 2016. "On the relationship between economic conditions around the time of birth and late life cognitive abilities: Evidence from Taiwan," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 126-139.
    18. W. Yeung & Zhenhua Xu, 2012. "Economic Stress, Quality of Life, and Mortality for the Oldest-Old in China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 131-152, August.
    19. Hill, Matthew J., 2015. "Easterlin revisited: Relative income and the baby boom," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 71-85.
    20. Angelini, Viola & Mierau, Jochen O., 2014. "Born at the right time? Childhood health and the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 35-43.
    21. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Paul, Alexander & Reinhold, Steffen, 2018. "Economic Conditions, Parental Employment and Health of Newborns," IZA Discussion Papers 11338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social inequality; lifetimes; life expectancy; recession; longevity; death; social class;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies

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