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The Persistence of Hardship Over the Life Course

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  • Thomas L. Hungerford

Abstract

This paper focuses on the persistence of hardship from middle age to old age. Proposed status maintenance models suggest that stratification of economic status occurs over the life course (e.g., little mobility is seen within the income distribution). Some studies have found evidence to support this, but none have looked at broader measures of well-being. Using 29 years (1968-96) of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), the author employs hypothesis tests (t-tests) and logistic regression techniques to examine the relationship between middle-age chronic hardships and adverse old-age outcomes. In almost every case, individuals who experience middle-age chronic hardships are significantly (statistically) more likely to experience adverse old-age outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas L. Hungerford, 2002. "The Persistence of Hardship Over the Life Course," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_367, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_367
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Burkhauser, Richard V & Duncan, Greg J, 1991. "United States Public Policy and the Elderly: The Disproportionate Risk to the Well-Being of Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 4(3), pages 217-231, August.
    2. Arthur B. Kennickell & Martha Starr-McCluer & Brian J. Surette, 2000. "Recent changes in U. S. family finances: results from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-29.
    3. Wilson, Chris M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "How Does Marriage Affect Physical and Psychological Health? A Survey of the Longitudinal Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 1619, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Karen Holden & Richard Burkhauser & Daniel Feaster, 1988. "The timing of falls into poverty after retirement and widowhood," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(3), pages 405-414, August.
    5. Dwyer, Debra Sabatini & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "Health problems as determinants of retirement: Are self-rated measures endogenous?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 173-193, April.
    6. Susan E. Mayer & Christopher Jencks, 1989. "Poverty and the Distribution of Material Hardship," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(1), pages 88-114.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven J. Haider & Alison Jacknowitz & Robert F. Schoeni, 2003. "The Economic Status of Elderly Divorced Women," Working Papers wp046, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    2. Cullati, St├ęphane, 2014. "The influence of work-family conflict trajectories on self-rated health trajectories in Switzerland: A life course approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 23-33.

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