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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
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.:
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Re-Examining the Evidence of an Ecological Association between Income Inequality and Health," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9922, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2002.
"Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(3), pages 510-539.
- Jennifer Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1998. "Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence From the Current Population Survey," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9815, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey D. Milyo, 2001. "Income inequality and health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 151-155.
- Islam, M. Kamrul & Merlo, Juan & Kawachi, Ichiro & Lindstr m, Martin & Burstr m, Kristina & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2006. "Does it really matter where you live? A panel data multilevel analysis of Swedish municipality-level social capital on individual health-related quality of life," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(03), pages 209-235, July.
- Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & S. Morgan & Øystein Kravdal & Karen Guzzo, 2007. "Child care availability and first-birth timing in Norway," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 345-372, May.
- Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
- Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1986. "Evaluating the Effects of Optimally Distributed Public Programs: ChildHealth and Family Planning Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 470-82, June.
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 564, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Editorial Office).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.