Consumption and Differential Mortality

Published: 2011
Project ID: UM11-17


This project will study biases that differential mortality introduces into cross-sectional or synthetic panel age profiles of consumption, as would be estimated from the Consumer Expenditure Survey. The data for this study will come from the Health and Retirement Study and its supplemental study, the Consumption and Activities Mail Survey. Our method will be to estimate survival and subjective survival curves as a function of spending to assess the magnitude of biases. We note that theoretical considerations do not allow us to say a priori whether spending and mortality are positively or negatively correlated, in contrast to the case with standard measures of socioeonomic status such as income or wealth.