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Inequality in Individual Mortality and Economic Conditions Earlier in Life

  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    ()

    (University of Mannheim)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    ()

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • López, Marta

    ()

    (VU University Amsterdam)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2425.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2425
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  1. Mokyr, Joel, 1974. "The Industrial Revolution in the Low Countries in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century: A Comparative Case Study," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(02), pages 365-391, June.
  2. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana LLeras Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies' Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1091-1130, August.
  3. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2000. "Duration Models: Specification, Identification, and Multiple Durations," MPRA Paper 9446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mackenbach, Johan P. & Kunst, Anton E., 1997. "Measuring the magnitude of socio-economic inequalities in health: An overview of available measures illustrated with two examples from Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 757-771, March.
  6. Abbring, J.H. & van den Berg, G. & van Ours, J.C., 2002. "The anatomy of unemployment dynamics," Other publications TiSEM 539d10a7-be00-4a8e-9c9c-9, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  7. Abbring, J.H. & Berg, G.J. & Ours, J.C., 1994. "The anatomy of unemployment dynamics," Serie Research Memoranda 0024, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  8. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2003. "From Cradle to Grave? The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," NBER Working Papers 9788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Abbring, J.H. & van den Berg, G. & van Ours, J.C., 1999. "The Anatomy of Unemployment Dynamics," Discussion Paper 1999-81, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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