Income Inequality and Health: Lessons from a Residential Assignment Program
AbstractThis paper investigates how income inequality affects health. Although a large literature has shown that inhabitants in areas with greater income inequality suffer from worse health, past studies are severely plagued by inadequate data, non-random residential sorting and reverse causality. We address these problems using longitudinal population hospitalization data coupled with a settlement policy where Swedish authorities distributed newly arrived refugee immigrants to their initial area of residence. The policy was implemented in a way that provides a source of plausibly random variation in initial location. Our empirical analysis reveals no statistically significant effect of income inequality on the probability of being hospitalized. This finding holds also when investigating subgroups more vulnerable to negative health influences and when studying different types of diseases. There is however some indications of a detrimental effect on older persons’ health; but the magnitude of the effect is small. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out large effects of income inequality on health.
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 InfoPaper provided by Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2011017.
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Drayton House, 30 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AX
Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 5888
Fax: +44 (0)20 7916 2775
Web page: http://www.cream-migration.org/
More information through EDIRC
Income inequality; Immigration; Quasi-experiment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-10-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2011-10-15 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2011-10-15 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-MIG-2011-10-15 (Economics of Human Migration)
- NEP-URE-2011-10-15 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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.:
- Andrew Leigh & Christopher Jencks, 2006.
"Inequality and Mortality: Long-Run Evidence from a Panel of Countries,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
533, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Leigh, Andrew & Jencks, Christopher, 2007. "Inequality and mortality: Long-run evidence from a panel of countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-24, January.
- Leigh, Andrew & Jencks, Christopher, 2006. "Inequality and Mortality: Long-Run Evidence from a Panel of Countries," Working Paper Series rwp06-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Aaberge, Rolf & Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Palme, Mårten & Pedersen, Peder & Smith, Nina & Wennemo, Tom, 1996.
"Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States,"
Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
98, Stockholm School of Economics, revised Aug 2002.
- Aaberge, Rolf, et al, 2002. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 443-69, December.
- Rolf Aaberge & Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & Mårten Palme & Peder J. Pedersen & Nina Smith & Tom Wennemo, 1996. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," Discussion Papers 168, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Norface Migration Administrator) or (Thomas Cornelissen).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.