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Title:Is Posner right? An empirical test of the Posner argument for transferring health spending from old women to old men PDF Logo
Authors:Wunder, Christoph
Schwarze, Johannes
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion Papers 4485
Abstract:Posner (1995) proposes the redistribution of health spending from old women to old men to equalize life expectancy. His argument is based on the assumption that women's utility is higher if they are married. Thus, extending the lifespan of men would benefit women. Using life satisfaction data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), we conduct an empirical test of this assumption. We apply a two-step estimation strategy: first, we use a propensity score matching approach to generate a control group of non-widowed women. The average level of life satisfaction in the control group serves as a reference to measure the degree of adaptation to widowhood. In the second step, the life satisfaction trajectories of both groups are estimated using penalized spline regressions. The results suggest bereavement has no enduring effect on life satisfaction, and that falsifies Posner's assumption.
Subjects:Widowhood
adaptation
subjective well-being
life satisfaction
penalized spline regression
propensity score matching
JEL:C14
D10
I31
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-20091019346
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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