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Was What Ail'd Ya' What Kill'd Ya'?

  • Robert W. Fogel
  • Louis Cain
  • Joseph Burton
  • Brian Bettenhausen

Making use of those Union Army veterans for whom death certificates are available, we compare the conditions with which they were diagnosed by Civil War pension surgeons to the causes of death on the certificates. We divide the data between those veterans who entered the pension system early because of war injuries and those who entered the pension system after the 1890 reform that made it available to many more veterans. We examine the correlation between specific conditions and death causes to gauge support for the hypothesis that death is attributable to something specific. We also examine the correlation between the accumulation of rated conditions to time until death to gauge support for the "insult hypothesis." In general, we find support for both hypotheses. Examining the hazard ratios for dying of a specific condition, there is support for the idea that what ail'd ya' is what kill'd ya'.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17322.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17322.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as Fogel, Robert W. & Cain, Louis & Burton, Joseph & Bettenhausen, Brian, 2013. "Was what ail’d ya what kill’d ya?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 269-280.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17322
Note: AG
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  1. Deaton, A., 2001. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Papers 200, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  2. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," NBER Working Papers 9822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Costa, Dora L, 1997. "Displacing the Family: Union Army Pensions and Elderly Living Arrangements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1269-92, December.
  4. Dora Costa, 2002. "Changing chronic disease rates and longterm declines in functional limitation among older men," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 119-137, February.
  5. Linares, Claudia & Su, Dejun, 2005. "Body mass index and health among Union Army veterans: 1891-1905," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 367-387, December.
  6. Werner Troesken, 2004. "Water, Race, and Disease," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number troe04-1.
  7. Dora Costa, 2000. "Understanding the twentieth-century decline in chronic conditions among older men," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 53-72, February.
  8. Werner Troesken, 2004. "Water, Race, and Disease," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262201488, June.
  9. Henderson, R. Max, 2005. "The bigger the healthier: Are the limits of BMI risk changing over time?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 339-366, December.
  10. Dora L. Costa, 1998. "Appendix A: Union Army Pensions and Civil War Records," NBER Chapters, in: The Evolution of Retirement: An American Economic History, 1880-1990, pages 197-212 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Larry T. Wimmer, 2003. "Reflections on the Early Indicators Project.A Partial History," NBER Chapters, in: Health and Labor Force Participation over the Life Cycle: Evidence from the Past, pages 1-10 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert Fogel & Dora Costa, 1997. "A theory of technophysio evolution, with some implications for forecasting population, health care costs, and pension costs," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 49-66, February.
  13. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
  14. Cain, Louis & Hong, Sok Chul, 2009. "Survival in 19th century cities: The larger the city, the smaller your chances," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 450-463, October.
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