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Inequality in individual mortality and economic conditions earlier in life

Gerard J. G.J. van den Berg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute
Maarten M. Lindeboom, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute
Marta M. Lopez, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

On average, being born in a recession increases the mortality rate later in life, among cohorts whose life spans have been completed. We analyze to what extent this result varies across social class. We merge individual data records from Dutch registers of birth, marriage, and death certificates, covering an observation window of unprecedented size (1812-2000), including social class and occupation indicators for parents, with historical data on macro-economic outcomes and health indicators. We perform non-parametric tests and estimate duration models. The results indicate that lower social classes suffer disproportionally from being born in recessions. This exacerbates cross-sectional mortality inequality.

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Presented in Session 8: Longevity: the influence of kin ties and early-life conditions