How We Fall Apart: Similarities of Human Aging in 10 European Countries
CEGE Paper No. 301
33 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 30, 2017
We analyze human aging, understood as health deficit accumulation, for a panel of European individuals. For that purpose, we use four waves of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE dataset) and construct a health deficit index. Results from log-linear regressions suggest that, on average, elderly European men and women develop about 2.5 percent more health deficits from one birthday to the next. In non-linear regression (akin to the Gompertz-Makeham model), however, we find much greater rates of aging and large differences between men and women as well as between countries. Interestingly, these differences follow a particular regularity (akin to the compensation effect of mortality). They suggest an age at which average health deficits converge for men and women and across countries.
Keywords: Health, Aging, Health Deficit Index, Europe, Gender Differences, Compensation Law, Human Life Span
JEL Classification: I10, I19
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