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Aging in the USA: Similarities and disparities across time and space

Ana Lucia Abeliansky, Devin Erel and Holger Strulik ()

No 384, University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics from University of Goettingen, Department of Economics

Abstract: We study biological aging of elderly U.S. Americans born 1904-1966. We use thirteen waves of the Health and Retirement Study and construct a health deficit index as the number of health deficits present in a person measured relative to the number of potential deficits. We find that, on average, Americans develop 5 percent more health deficits per year, that men age slightly faster than women, and that, at any age above 50, Caucasians display significantly less health deficits than African Americans. We also document a steady time trend of health improvements. For each year of later birth, health deficits decline on average by about 1 percent. This health trend is about the same across regions and for men and women, but significantly lower for African Americans compared to Caucasians. In non-linear regressions, we find that regional differences in aging follow a particular regularity, akin to the compensation effect of mortality. Health deficits converge for men and women and across American regions and suggest a life span of the American population of about 97 years.

Keywords: health; aging; health deficit index; United States (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I19 J14 N32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age and nep-hea
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:cegedp:384

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