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From financial wealth shocks to ill‐health: Allostatic load and overload

Abstract A number of studies have associated financial wealth changes with health-related outcomes arguing that the effect is due to psychological distress and is immediate. In this paper, I examine this relationship for cumulative shocks to the financial wealth of American retirees using the allostatic load model of pathways from stress to poor health. Wealth shocks are identified from Health and Retirement Study reports of stock ownership along with significant negative discontinuities in high-frequency S&P500 index data. I find that a one standard deviation increase in cumulative shocks over two years increases the probability of elevated blood pressure by 9.5%, increases waist circum...

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