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Publication - Professor Gerard Van den Berg

    The economics of grief


    Van den Berg, G, Vikstrom, J & Lundborg, P, 2016, ‘The economics of grief’. Economic Journal.


    We study the short-run and long-run economic impact of
    one of the largest losses that an individual can face; the death
    of a child. We utilize unique merged registers on the entire
    Swedish population, combining information on the date and cause of
    death with parental outcomes. We exploit the longitudinal
    dimension of the data and deal with a range of selection issues.
    Losing a child has persistent adverse effects on labor income in
    employment, on being in the labor market, and on marital status.
    Even after six years, the annual income loss is about 10%. Child
    loss causes 4% of those employed at the time of the child loss to
    be out of work five years later, mostly due to exit out of the
    labor force. Effects on hospitalization due to mental illness are
    only short-term. The value of policy measures aimed at preventing
    mortal accidents of children is seriously underestimated if it
    does not take bereavement effects on parents into account.

    Full details in the University publications repository