|Healthy aging after age 65: A life-span health production function approach.
|Year of Publication
|Ferdows, NB, Jensen, GA, Tarraf, W
|Research on Aging
|Health Behavior, Lifecycles
This article examines the determinants of healthy aging using Grossman's framework of a health production function. Healthy aging, sometimes described as successful aging, is produced using a variety of inputs, determined in early life, young adulthood, midlife, and later life. A healthy aging production function is estimated using nationally representative data from the 2010 and 2012 Health and Retirement Study on 7,355 noninstitutionalized seniors. Using a simultaneous equation mediation model, we quantify how childhood factors contribute to healthy aging, both directly and indirectly through their effects on mediating adult outcomes. We find that favorable childhood conditions significantly improve healthy aging scores, both directly and indirectly, mediated through education, income, and wealth. We also find that good health habits have positive effects on healthy aging that are larger in magnitude than the effects of childhood factors. Our findings suggest that exercising, maintaining proper weight, and not smoking are likely to translate into healthier aging.
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