Does Money Protect Health Status? Evidence from South African Pensions

Anne Case

in Perspectives on the Economics of Aging

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780226903057
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226903286 | DOI:
Does Money Protect Health Status? Evidence from South African Pensions

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This chapter quantifies the impact of a large, exogenous increase in income—that associated with pensions in South Africa—on health status. It shows in households that pool income, the pension protects the health of all household members, working in part to protect the nutritional status of household members, in part to improve living conditions, and in part to reduce the stress under which the adult household members negotiate day-to-day life. The chapter begins with a discussion of an integrated family survey run in 1999, one that captured information on individuals' health, mental health, social connectedness, and economic status. It also documents the relationship between income and health status and then turns to the pension as an instrument, allowing it to identify the causal impact of income on health status.

Keywords: income; South Africa; pension; health status; integrated family survey; mental health; economic status; social connectedness

Chapter.  9899 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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