MPIDR Working Paper
The impact of health behaviors and life quality on gender differences in mortality
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2006-035, 36 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (October 2006)
Since gender-specific mortality differences are known a great deal of research has been conducted on this subject. The resulting hypotheses for explaining male excess mortality can be sub-divided into two basic categories: the biological approach (focusing on biological and genetic factors) and the non-biological approach (focusing on behavioral and environmental factors). It has been proven impossible to explain the observed trends in mortality differences between women and men by relying solely on one of the two groups of theories. Recent studies indicate that the majority of the female survival advantage can be attributed to gender behaviors while the impact of biological factors seems to be limited to 1-2 years in life expectancy at birth. The main goal of this paper is to analyze the impact of gender-specific health behaviors and gender differences in life quality using micro level data for Western Germany.
Keywords: Germany, life styles, mortality, sex differentials