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Lifetime events and the well-being of older people

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  • Aassve, Arnstein

    ()

  • Luppi, Francesca

    ()

  • Pronzato, Chiara

    ()

  • Pudney, Steve

    () (University of Turin)

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationships between physical health, work, family history and mental well-being of people aged 50+ years and tests whether their children’s education, family formation and work circumstances also affect their level of depression. We use data for 10 European countries from six waves of the Survey of Health Ageing Retirement in Europe, from which we can observe current circumstances, past events and changes of conditions over time for older parents and their adult children. We find strong beneficial effects of being retired and detrimental effects of bad health conditions. A problematic family of origin, as well as grief over the death of spouses or children, persists over the entire life. Regarding non-coresident adult children, we observe that having children in better working and family conditions beneficially affects parental mental well-being. Geographical variability allows testing of whether the effects vary across different cultural contexts and institutions. Important context heterogeneities emerge: unemployment is more burdensome in countries with more difficult labour market conditions, sickness is less heavy in countries with better healthcare systems and divorce is less bearable in countries characterized by more traditional family values.

Suggested Citation

  • Aassve, Arnstein & Luppi, Francesca & Pronzato, Chiara & Pudney, Steve, 2020. "Lifetime events and the well-being of older people," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 202001, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:202001
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2002. "An econometric analysis of the mental‐health effects of major events in the life of older individuals," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 505-520, September.
    2. Maria Felice Arezzo & Cristina Giudici, 2017. "Social Capital and Self Perceived Health Among European Older Adults," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 665-685, January.
    3. Johnston, David W. & Lee, Wang-Sheng, 2009. "Retiring to the good life? The short-term effects of retirement on health," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 8-11, April.
    4. Tosi, Marco & Grundy, Emily, 2018. "Returns home by children and changes in parents’ well-being in Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 99-106.
    5. Courtin, Emilie & Avendano, Mauricio, 2016. "Under one roof: The effect of co-residing with adult children on depression in later life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 140-149.
    6. Kruk, Kai Eberhard & Reinhold, Steffen, 2014. "The effect of children on depression in old age," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-11.
    7. Coe, Norma B. & Zamarro, Gema, 2011. "Retirement effects on health in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 77-86, January.
    8. Franz Stephan Neuberger & Klaus Preisner, 2018. "Parenthood and Quality of Life in Old Age: The Role of Individual Resources, the Welfare State and the Economy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 353-372, July.
    9. Sarah Gibney & Liam Delaney & Mary Codd & Tony Fahey, 2017. "Lifetime Childlessness, Depressive Mood and Quality of Life Among Older Europeans," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 305-323, January.
    10. Karsten Hank & Michael Wagner, 2013. "Parenthood, Marital Status, and Well-Being in Later Life: Evidence from SHARE," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 639-653, November.
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