Does income inequality really influence individual mortality?
AbstractThere is still much uncertainty about the impact of income inequality on health and mortality. Some studies have supported the original hypothesis about adverse effects, while others have shown no effects. One problem in these investigations is that there are many factors that may affect both income inequality and individual mortality but that cannot be adequately controlled for. The longitudinal Norwegian register data available for this study allowed municipality dummies to be included in the models to pick up time-invariant unobserved factors at that level. The results were compared with those from similar models without such dummies. The focus was on mortality in men and women aged 30-79 in the years 1980-2002, and the data included about 500000 deaths within 50 million person-years of exposure. While the models without municipality dummies suggested that income inequality in the municipality of residence, as measured by the Gini coefficient, had an adverse effect on mortality net of individual income, the results from the models that included such dummies were more mixed. Adverse effects appeared among the youngest, while among older men, there even seemed to be beneficial effects. In addition to illustrating the potential importance of controlling for unobserved factors by adding community dummies (doing a â€˜fixed-effects analysisâ€™ according to common terminology in econometrics), the findings should add to the scepticism about the existence of harmful health effects of income inequality, at least in the Nordic context.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.
Volume (Year): 18 (2008)
Issue (Month): 7 (April)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/
fixed-effects; Gini Index; income; inequality; mortality; multilevel; municipality; Norway; registers;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- The Spirit Level is junk science part deux (updated)
by Tino in Super-Economy on 2010-02-15 07:08:00
- Trude Lappegård, 2008. "Family Policies and Fertility: Parents' Parental Leave Use, Childcare Availability, the Introduction of Childcare Cash Benefit and Continued Childbearing in Norway," Discussion Papers, Research Department of Statistics Norway 564, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
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