Positive and Negative Effects of Social Status on Longevity: Evidence from Two Literary Prizes in Japan

53 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2016 Last revised: 18 Feb 2018

See all articles by Shusaku Sasaki

Shusaku Sasaki

Faculty of Economics, Tohoku Gakuin University

Hirofumi Kurokawa

School of Economics and Management

Fumio Ohtake

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research

Date Written: February 15, 2018

Abstract

It is widely believed that a rise in social status extends longevity. A handful number of studies examine datasets of candidates for prestigious prizes to exploit the causality. However, while some studies report positive relationships between receiving awards and recipients’ longevity, others report negative relationships. In this study, we show evidence that receiving a prize has both positive and negative causal effects on recipients’ longevity, by using a dataset covering Japan’s most prestigious and traditional literary recognitions, the Akutagawa and Naoki Prizes. The results reveal that the recipients of the Akutagawa Prize for new or emerging novelists exhibit lower mortality than their fellow nominees. The increase in longevity is estimated at 1.4 years. By contrast, the recipients of the Naoki Prize mainly for established novelists report higher mortality than their fellow nominees, and the decreased longevity is estimated at 5.2 years. We discuss with additional empirical analyses that we are likely to find a life-prolonging effect from receiving a prize when candidates belong to a lower social stratum. In so doing, our findings provide narrative explanations for why earlier studies show conflicting relationships between receiving awards and recipients’ longevity.

Keywords: Social Status, Mortality, Health Inequality, Cox’s Proportional Hazard Model, Time-dependent Covariates, Time-dependent Parameters

JEL Classification: I12, H14

Suggested Citation

Sasaki, Shusaku and Kurokawa, Hirofumi and Ohtake, Fumio, Positive and Negative Effects of Social Status on Longevity: Evidence from Two Literary Prizes in Japan (February 15, 2018). ISER Discussion Paper No. 968, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2764069 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2764069

Shusaku Sasaki (Contact Author)

Faculty of Economics, Tohoku Gakuin University ( email )

1-3-1 Tsuchitoi Aoba-ku
Sendai, 980-8511
Japan

HOME PAGE: http://ssasaki.weebly.com/

Hirofumi Kurokawa

School of Economics and Management ( email )

United States

Fumio Ohtake

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research ( email )

1-1 Yamadaoka
Suita
Osaka, 565-0871
Japan

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