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Title: An Econometric Analysis of the Mental-Health Effects of Major Events in the Life of Elderly Individuals

Author(s): Gerard van den Berg, Maarten Lindeboom and France Portrait

Publication Date: December 2001

Keyword(s): care, death, depression, disease, endogeneity, fixed effects, health indicators, income loss, panel data, retirement and widowhood

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics

Abstract: Major events in the life of an elderly individual, such as retirement, a significant decrease in income, death of the spouse, disability, and a move to a nursing home, may affect the mental health status of the individual. For example, the individual may enter a prolonged depression. We investigate this using unique longitudinal panel data that track labour market behaviour, health status, and major life events, over time. To deal with endogenous aspects of these events we apply fixed effects estimation methods. We find some strikingly large effects of certain events on the occurrence of depression. We show that the results are of importance for the design of health care and labour market policy towards the elderly.

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Bibliographic Reference

Berg, G, Lindeboom, M and Portrait, F. 2001. 'An Econometric Analysis of the Mental-Health Effects of Major Events in the Life of Elderly Individuals'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=3091