Dec 2, 2012

Economics of Grief

The loss of a child has significant adverse effects on almost every outcome studied, confirming the common wisdom that losing a child is one of the most stressing events that a human can face. On average, child loss not only results in reduced labor income in employment, but also in increased probabilities of leaving the labor market, marital dissolution, and experiencing a reduction of mental health. To the best of our knowl- edge, we are the first to show (average population) effects on such a comprehensive set of outcomes. With a few exceptions, the estimated average effects are invariant to characteristics of the child. They do not depend on the age of the child, birth order of the child, or family size. We do find some evidence that men suffer more adverse labor market outcomes after the loss of a son than after the loss of a daughter.
That is from the coclusions of this paper by Van den Berg, Lundborg & Vikström (November 2012). A figure from the paper:


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