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Consumption and Differential Mortality

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  • Michael Hurd

    (RAND)

  • Susann Rohwedder

    (RAND)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2011. "Consumption and Differential Mortality," Working Papers wp254, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp254
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp254.pdf
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    1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
    2. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2009. "Methodological Innovations in Collecting Spending Data: The HRS Consumption and Activities Mail Survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, pages 435-459.
    3. 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.
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