Technical Report Positive and Negative Effects of Social Status on Longevity : Evidence from Two Literary Prizes in Japan

Kurokawa, Hirofumi  ,  Akesaka, Mika  ,  Sasaki, Shusaku

968pp.1 - 22 , 2016-04 , The Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University
We show evidence that receiving Japan’s Akutagawa and Naoki Prizes for literature has positive and negative effects on their recipients’ longevity. Using a dataset covering both awards, we show that recipients of the Akutagawa Prize for rising novelists exhibit lower mortality than fellow nominees. The increase of longevity is estimated at 2.4 years. Recipients of the Naoki Prize for established novelists exhibit higher mortality than fellow nominees, and the decreased longevity is 5.1 years. These results indicate positive and negative causal effects from social status to longevity, and we identify and isolate those effects. In doing so, this study clarifies why earlier studies show conflicting relationships between receiving awards and the recipients’ longevity.

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