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Ageing, Health and Life Satisfaction of the Oldest Old: An Analysis for Germany

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  • Gwozdz, Wencke

    () (Copenhagen Business School)

  • Sousa-Poza, Alfonso

    () (University of Hohenheim)

Abstract

This analysis uses data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) and the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to assess the effect of ageing and health on the life satisfaction of the oldest old (defined as 75 and older). We observe a U-shaped relationship between age and levels of life satisfaction for individuals aged between 16 and approximately 65. Thereafter, life satisfaction declines rapidly and the lowest absolute levels of life satisfaction are recorded for the oldest old. This decline is primarily attributable to low levels of perceived health. Once cohort effects are also controlled for, life satisfaction remains relatively constant across the lifespan.

Suggested Citation

  • Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2009. "Ageing, Health and Life Satisfaction of the Oldest Old: An Analysis for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4053
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    Cited by:

    1. Ng, Sor Tho & Tey, Nai Peng & Asadullah, Niaz, 2017. "What Matters for Life Satisfaction among the Oldest-Old? Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 10624, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Koen Decancq & Dirk Neumann, 2014. "Does the Choice of Well-Being Measure Matter Empirically?: An Illustration with German Data," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 717, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. J. Tomás & P. Sancho & M. Gutiérrez & L. Galiana, 2014. "Predicting Life Satisfaction in the Oldest-Old: A Moderator Effects Study," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(2), pages 601-613, June.
    4. Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "Happiness and age cycles – return to start…," MPRA Paper 15249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gregori Baetschmann, 2012. "Heterogeneity in the Relationship between Happiness and Age: Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 472, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    6. Landeghem Bert van, 2011. "A Test for the Convexity of Human Well-Being over the Life Cycle: Longitudinal Evidence from a 20-Year Panel," Research Memorandum 043, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    7. Ning Li, 2016. "Multidimensionality of Longitudinal Data: Unlocking the Age-Happiness Puzzle," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 305-320, August.
    8. Bauer,Jan Michael & Levin,Victoria & Munoz Boudet,Ana Maria & Nie,Peng & Sousa-Poza,Alfonso, 2015. "Subjective well-being across the lifespan in Europe and Central Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7378, The World Bank.
    9. López Ulloa, Beatriz Fabiola & Moller, Valerie & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2013. "How Does Subjective Well-Being Evolve with Age? A Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 7328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. de Ree, Joppe & Alessie, Rob, 2011. "Life satisfaction and age: Dealing with underidentification in age-period-cohort models," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 177-182, July.
    11. Rebecca Ang & Jiaqing O, 2012. "Association Between Caregiving, Meaning in Life, and Life Satisfaction Beyond 50 in an Asian Sample: Age as a Moderator," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 108(3), pages 525-534, September.
    12. Cristina Dumitrache & Gill Windle & Ramona Rubio Herrera, 2015. "Do Social Resources Explain the Relationship Between Optimism and Life Satisfaction in Community-Dwelling Older People? Testing a Multiple Mediation Model," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 633-654, June.
    13. Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Tzahi Neuman, 2014. "Subjective Health Status of the Older Population: Is It Related to Country-Specific Economic Development Measures?," Working Papers 2014-02, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    14. Van Landeghem, Bert, 2012. "A test for the convexity of human well-being over the life cycle: Longitudinal evidence from a 20-year panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 571-582.
    15. Bert Van Landeghem, 2012. "Panel Conditioning and Self-Reported Satisfaction: Evidence from International Panel Data and Repeated Cross-Sections," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 484, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    16. Wunder, Christoph & Wiencierz, Andrea & Schwarze, Johannes & Küchenhoff, Helmut & Kleyer, Sara & Bleninger, Philipp, 2009. "Well-Being over the Life Span: Semiparametric Evidence from British and German Longitudinal Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Landeghem Bert van, 2011. "A Test for the Convexity of Human Well-Being over the Life Cycle: Longitudinal Evidence from a 20-Year Panel," ROA Research Memorandum 008, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    18. Gregori Baetschmann, 2011. "Heterogeneity in the relationship between happiness and age: Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel," ECON - Working Papers 047, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    19. repec:dug:actaec:y:2017:i:3:p:155-168 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Victoria Ateca-Amestoy & Arantza Ugidos, 2013. "The Impact of Different Types of Resource Transfers on Individual Wellbeing: An Analysis of Quality of Life Using CASP-12," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 973-991, February.
    21. ICHIMURA Hidehiko & Xiaoyan LEI & Chulhee LEE & Jinkook LEE & Albert PARK & SAWADA Yasuyuki, 2017. "Wellbeing of the Elderly in East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan," Discussion papers 17029, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    22. Ning Li, 2014. "Multidimensionality of Longitudinal Data: Unlocking the Age-Happiness Puzzle," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2014n04, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; life satisfaction; oldest old;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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