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Inequality in Individual Mortality and Economic Conditions Earlier in Life

Listed author(s):
  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    ()

    (University of Bristol)

  • Lindeboom, Maarten

    ()

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • López, Marta

    ()

    (Vrije Universiteit 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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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2425.pdf
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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
Publication status: published in: Social Science and Medicine, 2009, 69 (9), 1360–1367
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2425
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  1. Smits, Jan-Pieter & Horlings, Edwin & Zanden, Jan Luiten van, "undated". "Dutch GNP and its components, 1800-1913," GGDC Research Memorandum No.5, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  2. 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.
  3. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies' Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1091-1130.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Mark Hayward & Bridget Gorman, 2004. "The long arm of childhood: The influence of early-life social conditions on men’s mortality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(1), pages 87-107, February.
  7. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
  8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
  9. 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.
  10. Jan Luiten van Zanden & Arthur van Riel, 2004. "Introduction to The Strictures of Inheritance: The Dutch Economy in the Nineteenth Century," Introductory Chapters, in: The Strictures of Inheritance: The Dutch Economy in the Nineteenth Century Princeton University Press.
  11. 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.
  12. repec:dgr:rugggd:no.5 is not listed on IDEAS
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