Determinants of Gender Differences in Health Among Elderly in Latin America
Posted: 25 Jun 2007
This paper identifies the main gender differences in health and socio-economic characteristics of the elderly in four Latin American cities. Using locally-weighted regressions as well a flexible model specification that treats age non-parametrically, we investigate whether these unadjusted gender gaps in health are due to gender differences in the distribution of age and other explanatory variables. Interestingly, for all countries, the analyses show a gender gap in health in favor of males at each age. The gaps are larger when one uses functional impairment in mobility and personal self-care as indicators of an individual's health instead of self-reported health. Furthermore, controlling for demographic characteristics, baseline health, and the availability of family support does little to change the disadvantage for women in measured health outcomes. Controlling for socio-economic variables does, however, reduce most the gender differences in health.
Keywords: Elderly, Health, Gender differentials, Caregivers, Latin American
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