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Consumption and Differential Mortality

  • Michael Hurd

    (RAND)

  • Susann Rohwedder

    (RAND)

It is well-established that differential mortality according to wealth or income introduces bias into age profiles of these variables when estimated on cross-sectional or synthetic cohort data. However, little is known about whether this association is also found with consumption, and if so, how strong this association is. In this paper we use panel data on total household spending from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its supplemental study, the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey (CAMS), to estimate differences in consumption by survival status to the next survey wave. We quantify the bias in age profiles of consumption that results from differential mortality when estimating the age profiles on cross-sectional data or on synthetic cohort data. We find that the bias is smaller than that found for wealth or income.

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File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp254.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp254.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp254
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  1. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. repec:att:wimass:9722 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
  4. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "Methodological Innovations in Collecting Spending Data: The HRS Consumption and Activities Mail Survey," Working Papers 646, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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