Journal Article

Differentielle Mortalität in Deutschland

Scholz, R. D.

[Differential mortality in Germany]

Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften/Schmollers Jahrbuch, 126:3, 375-386 (2006)


Information about mortality by socioeconomic group is not available for the whole German population due to especially strict data protection laws. Existing knowledge mostly originates from sample surveys. The present study aims at closing a part of this gap by estimating mortality of a core part of the German male population aged 65+. In doing this we use an unusual data set of the German Union of Pension Systems (VDR) covering all receivers of German pensions (over 95% of Germans aged 65+). The data have become available to us thanks to new policies towards greater openness of German statistical sources for scientists. The data for the year 2003 are classified by age, type of medical insurance (public, private, foreign), broad professional group (workers, employees, miners), place of residence (East and West Germany or foreign), and number of the pension credit points. The latter variable is a good indicator of income accumulated over working lives. Mortality decreases with increasing credit points. The range of variation between the extreme groups of miners and workers with public medical insurance in East and West Germany and the West German employees with private medical insurance is 2.5-3 fold in terms of relative mortality and is close to 6 years in terms of life expectancy at age 65. Most of the data manipulation work was completed at the VDR scientific data center in Würzburg. This study is part of the German Vanguard Project.