Do early life and contemporaneous macro-conditions explain health at older ages? An application to functional limitations of Dutch older individuals

The paper presents an approach which thoroughly assesses therole of early life and contemporaneous macro-conditions in explaininghealth at older ages. In particular, we investigate the role of exposure to infectious diseases and economic conditions during infancyand childhood, as well as the effect of current health care facilities.Specific attention is paid to the impact of unobserved heterogeneity,selective attrition and omitted relevant macro-variables. We apply ourapproach to self-reports on functional limitations of Dutch older individuals.Our analysis is performed using data from the LongitudinalAging Study Amsterdam. The prevalence of functional limitations isfound to increase in the nineteen-nineties, in part due to restrictedaccess to hospital care.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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