Mortality in Midlife for Subgroups in Germany

26 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2019

See all articles by Peter Haan

Peter Haan

DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Anna Hammerschmid

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Julia Schmieder

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 28, 2019

Abstract

Case and Deaton (2015) document that, since 1998, midlife mortality rates are increasing for white non-Hispanics in the US. This trend is driven by deaths from drug overdoses, suicides, and alcohol-related diseases, termed as deaths of despair, and by the subgroup of low-educated individuals. In contrast, average mortality for middle-aged men and women continued to decrease in several other high-income countries including Germany. However, average mortality rates can disguise important differences between subgroups and the phenomenon of increasing mortality rates might also be present for sub-populations in these countries. Hence, we analyze how mortality in midlife is changing for several important demographic subgroups in Germany over the 1990 to 2015 period with a focus on deaths of despair. Our results show a very clear pattern: We find that mortality rates declined between 1990 and 2015, with no increases in deaths of despair for any of the subgroups. Thus, our findings starkly contrast with those for the US.

Keywords: mortality, lifetime inequality, causes of death, deaths of despair, Germany

JEL Classification: I10, I14, J11

Suggested Citation

Haan, Peter and Hammerschmid, Anna and Schmieder, Julia, Mortality in Midlife for Subgroups in Germany (January 28, 2019). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1785 (2019), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3339179 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3339179

Peter Haan (Contact Author)

DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Anna Hammerschmid

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Julia Schmieder

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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