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Top income shares and mortality: Evidence from advanced countries

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  • Böckerman, Petri

Abstract

The paper examines the effect of top income shares on the crude death and infant mortality rates. We use balanced panel data that covers nine advanced countries over the period 1952-1998. Top income shares are measured as the shares of pre-tax income going to the richest 0.1%, 1% and 10% of the population. We also estimate separate effects on both female and male mortality rates. The most important finding is that there is no overall relationship between top income shares and mortality. If anything, the estimates based on gender breakdown show that there is evidence that an increase in income inequality is associated with a decrease in the crude death rate for males.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/19970/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19970.

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Date of creation: 12 Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19970

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Keywords: income inequality; top income shares; mortality;

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  1. Roine, Jesper & Vlachos, Jonas & Waldenström, Daniel, 2009. "The long-run determinants of inequality: What can we learn from top income data?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 974-988, August.
  2. Waldmann, Robert J, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-302, November.
  3. 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.
  4. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "How Closely Do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages F619-F633, November.
  5. Hildebrand, Vincent & Van Kerm, Philippe, 2005. "Income inequality and self-rated health status: Evidence from the European Community Household Panel," IRISS Working Paper Series 2005-01, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  6. 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).
  7. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  8. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Helakorpi, Satu & Uutela, Antti, 2007. "Economic Inequality and Health: Looking Beyond Aggregate Indicators," Discussion Papers 1104, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  9. Babones, Salvatore J., 2008. "Income inequality and population health: Correlation and causality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(7), pages 1614-1626, April.
  10. Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Top Incomes in the United States and Canada Over the Twentieth Century," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 402-411, 04/05.
  11. Gravelle, Hugh & Wildman, John & Sutton, Matthew, 2002. "Income, income inequality and health: what can we learn from aggregate data?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 577-589, February.
  12. Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
  13. Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1768-1784, April.
  14. Sarah Voitchovsky, 2005. "Does the Profile of Income Inequality Matter for Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 273-296, 09.
  15. Paula K. Lorgelly & Joanne Lindley, 2008. "What is the relationship between income inequality and health? Evidence from the BHPS," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 249-265.
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