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This paper investigates the social and economic circumstances of childhood that predict the probability of survival to age 85. It uses a unique study design in which survivors are linked to their records in U.S. Censuses of 1900 and 1910. A control group of age and race-matched children is drawn from Public Use Samples for these censuses. It concludes that the factors most predictive of survival are farm background, having literate parents, and living in a two-parent household. Results support the interpretation that death risks are positively correlated over the life cycle.
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