Archive for the ‘Quarterly Journal of Economics’ Category

Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis using Administrative Data

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Quarterly Journal of Economics (via Till von Wachter)

We use administrative data on the quarterly employment and earnings of Pennsylvanian workers in the 1970s and 1980s matched to Social Security Administration death records covering 1980–2006 to estimate the effects of job displacement on mortality. We find that for high-seniority male workers, mortality rates in the year after displacement are 50%–100% higher than would otherwise have been expected. The effect on mortality hazards declines sharply over time, but even twenty years after displacement, we estimate a 10%–15% increase in annual death hazards. If such increases were sustained indefinitely, they would imply a loss in life expectancy of 1.0–1.5 years for a worker displaced at age forty. We show that these results are not due to selective displacement of less healthy workers or to unstable industries or firms offering less healthy work environments. We also show that workers with larger losses in earnings tend to suffer greater increases in mortality. This correlation remains when we examine predicted earnings declines based on losses in industry, firm, or firm-size wage premiums.

Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?

August 18, 2011 Comments off

Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?
Source: Quarterly Journal of Economics

We investigate whether individual experiences of macroeconomic shocks affect financial risk taking, as often suggested for the generation that experienced the Great Depression. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances from 1960 to 2007, we find that individuals who have experienced low stock market returns throughout their lives so far report lower willingness to take financial risk, are less likely to participate in the stock market, invest a lower fraction of their liquid assets in stocks if they participate, and are more pessimistic about future stock returns. Those who have experienced low bond returns are less likely to own bonds. Results are estimated controlling for age, year effects, and household characteristics. More recent return experiences have stronger effects, particularly on younger people.


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