Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Are economic recessions at the time of leaving school associated with worse physical functioning in later life?

Hessel, Philipp and Avendano, Mauricio (2013) Are economic recessions at the time of leaving school associated with worse physical functioning in later life? Annals of Epidemiology, 23 (11). pp. 708-715. ISSN 1047-2797

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (559kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.08.001


Purpose: To examine whether economic conditions at the time of leaving school or college are associated with physical functioning in later life among cohorts in 11 European countries. Methods: Data came from 10,338 participants in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) aged 50–74 who left school or college between 1956 and 1986. Data on functional limitations, as well as employment, marriage, and fertility retrospective histories were linked to national unemployment rates during the year individuals left school. Models included country-fixed effects and controls for early-life circumstances. Results: Greater unemployment rates during the school-leaving year were associated with fewer functional limitations at ages 50–74 among men (rate ratio 0.63, 95% confidence interval 0.47–0.83), but more physical functioning limitations among women (rate ratio 1.30, 95% confidence interval 1.13–1.50), particularly among those with (post-)secondary education. Economic conditions at the age of leaving school were associated with several labor market, marriage, fertility, and health behavior outcomes, but controlling for these factors did not attenuate associations. Results were similar in models that controlled for selection into higher education due to measured covariates. Conclusions: Worse economic conditions during the school-leaving year predicted better health at later life among men but worse health among women. Both selection and causation mechanisms may explain this association.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Lifecourse, Ageing & Population Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2013 14:43
Last Modified: 28 May 2024 18:33
Projects: 263684, R01AG037398, R01AG040248
Funders: Researcher Grant from the European Research Council, National Institute on Aging, McArthur Foundation Research Network on Ageing, European Commission through the 5th framework program, European Commission through the 6th framework program, European Commission through the 7th framework program, National Institute on Aging

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics