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Mortality and Immortality

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Author Info

  • Rablen, Matthew D.

    ()
    (Brunel University)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

It has been known for centuries that the rich and famous have longer lives than the poor and ordinary. Causality, however, remains trenchantly debated. The ideal experiment would be one in which status and money could somehow be dropped upon a sub-sample of individuals while those in a control group received neither. This paper attempts to formulate a test in that spirit. It collects 19th-century birth data on science Nobel Prize winners and nominees. Using a variety of corrections for potential biases, the paper concludes that winning the Nobel Prize, rather than merely being nominated, is associated with between 1 and 2 years of extra longevity. Greater wealth, as measured by the real value of the Prize, does not seem to affect lifespan.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2560.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Mortality and immortality: The Nobel Prize as an experiment into the effect of status upon longevity' in: Journal of Health Economics, 2008, 27 (6), 1462 - 1471
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2560

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Keywords: longevity; status; health; wealth; mortality;

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References

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  1. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew, 2004. "How is mortality affected by money, marriage, and stress?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1181-1207, November.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Ivan Werning, 2005. "The Equilibrium Distribution of Income and the Market for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 282-310, April.
  3. Fershtman, C. & Murphy, K.M., 1993. "Social Status, Education and Growth," Papers 8-93, Tel Aviv.
  4. Miller, Douglas L. & Paxson, Christina, 2006. "Relative income, race, and mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 979-1003, September.
  5. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  6. MatthewD. Rablen, 2008. "Relativity, Rank and the Utility of Income," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 801-821, 04.
  7. James P. Smith, 2005. "Unraveling the SES-Health Connection," Labor and Demography 0505018, EconWPA.
  8. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Paul Frijters & John Haisken-DeNew & Michael Shields, 2005. "Socio-Economic Status, Health Shocks, Life Satisfaction and Mortality: Evidence from an Increasing Mixed Proportional Hazard Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 496, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  10. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status In Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188, February.
  11. Cutler, David & Lleras-Muney, Adriana & Deaton, Angus, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Scholarly Articles 2640588, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Adda, Jerome & Chandola, Tarani & Marmot, Michael, 2003. "Socio-economic status and health: causality and pathways," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 57-63, January.
  13. Smith, James P, 1998. "Socioeconomic Status and Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 192-96, May.
  14. Meer, Jonathan & Miller, Douglas L. & Rosen, Harvey S., 2003. "Exploring the health-wealth nexus," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 713-730, September.
  15. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
  16. Stephen E. Snyder & William N. Evans, 2006. "The Effect of Income on Mortality: Evidence from the Social Security Notch," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 482-495, August.
  17. Bruno S. Frey, 2005. "Knight Fever – Towards an Economics of Awards," CESifo Working Paper Series 1468, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Frijters, Paul & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Shields, Michael A., 2005. "The causal effect of income on health: Evidence from German reunification," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 997-1017, September.
  19. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
  20. Bruce A. Weinberg & David W. Galenson, 2005. "Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics," NBER Working Papers 11799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-16, March.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Longevity, success and friendship
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2008-04-11 08:42:07
  2. The Economics of Nobel Laureates
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-10-18 22:10:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. KRAPF, Matthias & SCHLÄPFER, Jörg, 2012. "How Nobel Laureates Would Perform In The Handelsblatt Ranking," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 12(3).
  2. Christopher J. Boyce & Andrew J. Oswald, 2012. "Do people become healthier after being promoted?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 580-596, 05.
  3. Rablen, Matthew D. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Mortality and immortality: The Nobel Prize as an experiment into the effect of status upon longevity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1462-1471, December.
  4. Anna Aizer & Laura Stroud & Stephen Buka, 2012. "Maternal Stress and Child Outcomes: Evidence from Siblings," NBER Working Papers 18422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Susanne Neckermann, 2008. "Awards in economics. Towards a new field of inquiry," IEW - Working Papers 401, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2012. "Conspicuous consumption and satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 183-191.
  7. Karol Jan BOROWIECKI & Georgios KAVETSOS, 2011. "Does Competition Kill? The Case of Classical Composers," Trinity Economics Papers tep1111, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  8. Jacques Poot, 2007. "Demographic Change and Regional Competitiveness: The Effects of Immigration and Ageing," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-64, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
  9. Philipp Koellinger & Matthijs Loos & Patrick Groenen & A. Thurik & Fernando Rivadeneira & Frank Rooij & André Uitterlinden & Albert Hofman, 2010. "Genome-wide association studies in economics and entrepreneurship research: promises and limitations," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 1-18, July.
  10. Baffes, John & Vamvakidis, Athanasios, 2011. "Are you too young for the Nobel Prize?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1345-1353.
  11. Martin Salm, 2011. "The Effect of Pensions on Longevity: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 595-619, 05.

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