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Early-life Income Shocks and Old-Age Cause-Specific Mortality

Hamid NoghaniBehambari, Farzaneh Noghani and Nahid Tavassoli

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Abstract: This paper investigates the causal relationship between income shocks during the first years of life and adulthood mortality due to specific causes of death. Using all death records in the United States during 1968-2004 for individuals who were born in the first half of the 20th century, we document a sizable and statistically significant association between income shocks early in life, proxied by GDP per capita fluctuations, and old age cause-specific mortality. Conditional on individual characteristics and controlling for a broad array of current and early-life conditions, we find that a 1 percent decrease in the aggregate business cycle in the year of birth is associated with 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.7, 0.9, and 2.1 percent increase in the likelihood of mortality in old ages due to malignant neoplasms, Diabetes Mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, Influenza, chronic respiratory diseases, and all other diseases, respectively.

Date: 2021-01
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Published in Economic Analysis 2020

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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2101.03943