Tony Bardo- Duke University
Happy life expectancy: Physical disability and sex-race disparities
The health and well-being of older adults is a central concern across many social science disciplines and subfields. In light of population aging, the intersections of health and well-being have become increasingly important. Yet, these two facets of quality of life are rarely studied in conjunction. For example, whether physical disability has a negative impact on one's perceived well-being (e.g., happiness) remains unknown. Inconsistent findings surrounding this question are largely due to issues of how quantity and quality of life have been examined thus far. Therefore, I answer a simple question with a unique approach (i.e., Bayesian multistate life tables) that simultaneously addresses issues of both quantity and quality: How many years can a person with a physical disability expect to live happy? Findings show that proportion of happy life expectancy is approximately 20% less for people with a disability, which suggest that it is indeed difficult for people with a disability to maintain high levels of well-being. Sex-race disparities in happy life expectancy are also discussed.