The Transmission of Longevity Across Generations

Posted: 28 Sep 2008 Last revised: 28 Oct 2008

See all articles by Saul Lach

Saul Lach

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics; CEPR

Yaacov Ritov

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Avi Simhon

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Date Written: September 27, 2008

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between a father's age at death and his children's expected lifetime using a large and representative data set of individuals in Israel. We find that, after the early thirties for women and early forties for men, the survivor probability of an individual is significantly affected by the age at which her or his father died. The estimates imply that the difference in expected lifetime when the father dies at age 80 instead of at age 40 amounts to about 14 years for women and 9 years for men. We explore the extent to which the estimated effects can be interpreted as due to genetic factors. Under additional assumptions, we find that genetic factors explain less than 10 percent of the variance in longevity across individuals.

Keywords: longevity, nature vs nurture

Suggested Citation

Lach, Saul and Ritov, Yaacov and Simhon, Avi, The Transmission of Longevity Across Generations (September 27, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1274623

Saul Lach

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3253 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/saul/saul.html

CEPR

London
United Kingdom

Yaacov Ritov

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Avi Simhon (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem 91905, Jerusalem 91905
Israel
+972 2 588 3237 (Phone)
+972 2 581 6071 (Fax)

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