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The Fatal Consequences of Grief

Listed author(s):
  • Bernhard Schmidpeter
Registered author(s):

    In this paper we investigate the effect of stress on the survival probability using a child’s death as the triggering event. Employing a propensity score weighted Kaplan-Meier estimator, we are able to explore the associated time pattern of grief without imposing assumptions on the underlying duration process. We find a non-monotonic relationship between time and relative survival rates: decreasing for 13 years after the event and slowly reversing afterward. However, even 19 years after the event bereaved parents have significantly lower survival probabilities compared to the hypothetical case, that the event had not occurred. Investigating the main reason for this development, our results indicate that bereaved parents have a higher probability of dying from natural causes, especially circulatory diseases. Interestingly, our results reveal that bereavement has a stronger impact on fathers, while we find only modest evidence for mothers. This is a novel and surprising finding as males are in general regarded as more stress resilient than females. However, this research shows that this perception is not true.

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    File URL: http://cdecon.jku.at/wp-content/uploads/wp1507CD.pdf
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    Paper provided by The Christian Doppler (CD) Laboratory Aging, Health, and the Labor Market, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series CDL Aging, Health, Labor working papers with number 2015-07.

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    Length: 57 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2015
    Handle: RePEc:jku:cdlwps:wp1507
    Note: English
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    Web page: http://www.econ.jku.at/

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    1. Michael Lechner, 2000. "An Evaluation of Public-Sector-Sponsored Continuous Vocational Training Programs in East Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 347-375.
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    11. Rothe, Christoph, 2015. "Robust Confidence Intervals for Average Treatment Effects under Limited Overlap," IZA Discussion Papers 8758, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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