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Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? The Impact of the Old Age Assistance Program on Elderly Mortality in the United States

  • Andreea Balan-Cohen

How much have government programs improved elderly well-being? I examine the impact of OAA on mortality between 1930-1955. I construct two new data sets: a database on OAA, and a database on elderly mortality. To control for joint determination of income and mortality, I use a simulated IV approach that relies on exogenous changes in OAA legislation. I find substantial reductions in mortality for vulnerable elderly groups, especially poor males. Mortality decreased mainly because of declines in risky behavior, infectious diseases (after the introduction of antibiotics), and suicides. Household survey analyses reveal changes in consumption consistent with these patterns.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/research/documents/2008/balanCohenElderly.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0719.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0719
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