Together in sickness and in health: Spillover of physical, mental, and cognitive health among older English couples

Urvashi Jain, Mingming Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using data from eight waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, we study the cross-domain and cross-spouse spillover of health among married adults aged 50 and above in England. We apply the system generalized method of moments to linear dynamic panel models for physical, mental, and cognitive health, controlling for individual heterogeneity and the influence of marriage market matching and shared environments. Our findings reveal bidirectional spillovers between memory abilities and mobility difficulty among men, as well as between depressive symptoms and mobility difficulty among women. Worsening mobility increases the risk of depression in men, but not vice versa. Additionally, gender-specific cross-spouse effects are observed. Women's mental health is significantly influenced by their spouse's mental health, while this effect is weaker for men. Conversely, men's mental health is notably affected by their spouse's physical health. These results highlight the importance of considering spillovers within families and across health domains when developing policies to promote health and reduce health disparities among the elderly population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
JournalHealth Economics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2024

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Together in sickness and in health: Spillover of physical, mental, and cognitive health among older English couples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this