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Income dynamics and adult mortality in the United States, 1972 through 1989

Author

Listed:
  • McDonough, P.
  • Duncan, G.J.
  • Williams, D.
  • House, J.

Abstract

Objectives. The aim of this study was to examine relationships between income and mortality, focusing on the predictive utility of single-year and multiyear measures of income, the shape of the income gradient in mortality, trends in this gradient over time, the impact of income change on mortality, and the joint effects of income and age, race, and sex on mortality risk. Methods. Data were taken from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics for the years 1968 through 1989. Fourteen 10-year panels were constructed in which predictors were measured over the first 5 years and vital status over the subsequent 5 years. The panels were pooled and logistic regression was used in the analysis. Results. Income level was a strong predictor of mortality, especially for persons under the age of 65 years. Persistent low income was particularly consequential for mortality. Income instability was also important among middle-income individuals. Single-year and multiyear income measures had comparable predictive power. All effects persisted after adjustment for education and initial health status. Conclusions. The issues of low income and income instability should be addressed in population health policy.

Suggested Citation

  • McDonough, P. & Duncan, G.J. & Williams, D. & House, J., 1997. "Income dynamics and adult mortality in the United States, 1972 through 1989," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 87(9), pages 1476-1483.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:9:1476-1483_4
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    1. Oshio, Takashi & Umeda, Maki & Fujii, Mayu, 2013. "The association of life satisfaction and self-rated health with income dynamics among male employees in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 143-150.
    2. Mossakowski, Krysia N., 2008. "Is the duration of poverty and unemployment a risk factor for heavy drinking?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 947-955, September.
    3. Rehkopf, David H. & Jencks, Christopher & Glymour, M. Maria, 2010. "The association of earnings with health in middle age: Do self-reported earnings for the previous year tell the whole story?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 431-439, August.
    4. Cristia, Julian P., 2009. "Rising mortality and life expectancy differentials by lifetime earnings in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 984-995, September.
    5. Cerdá, Magdalena & Johnson-Lawrence, Vicki D. & Galea, Sandro, 2011. "Lifetime income patterns and alcohol consumption: Investigating the association between long- and short-term income trajectories and drinking," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(8), pages 1178-1185.
    6. Kåre Bævre & Øystein Kravdal, 2014. "The effects of earlier income variation on mortality: An analysis of Norwegian register data," Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 68(1), pages 81-94, March.
    7. Scodellaro, Claire & Khlat, Myriam & Jusot, Florence, 2012. "Intergenerational financial transfers and health in a national sample from France," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1296-1302.
    8. Matthews, Karen A. & Schwartz, Joseph E. & Cohen, Sheldon, 2011. "Indices of socioeconomic position across the life course as predictors of coronary calcification in black and white men and women: Coronary artery risk development in young adults study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(5), pages 768-774, September.
    9. Chen, Edith & Martin, Andrew D. & Matthews, Karen A., 2006. "Socioeconomic status and health: Do gradients differ within childhood and adolescence?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(9), pages 2161-2170, May.
    10. 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, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Do, D. Phuong, 2009. "The dynamics of income and neighborhood context for population health: Do long-term measures of socioeconomic status explain more of the black/white health disparity than single-point-in-time measures," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1368-1375, April.
    13. Arber, Sara & Fenn, Kirsty & Meadows, Robert, 2014. "Subjective financial well-being, income and health inequalities in mid and later life in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 12-20.
    14. Alexander Silbersdorff & Julia Lynch & Stephan Klasen & Thomas Kneib, 2017. "Reconsidering the Income-Illness Relationship using Distributional Regression: An Application to Germany," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 231, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    15. DIARRA, Setou & LEBIHAN, Laetitia & MAO TAKONGMO, Charles Olivier, 2018. "Polygyny, Child Education, Health and Labour: Theory and Evidence from Mali," MPRA Paper 88518, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Swati Mukerjee, 2018. "Childhood Bullying and Labor Market Outcomes in The United States," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 46(3), pages 313-335, September.
    17. 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.
    18. Malat, Jennifer & Mayorga-Gallo, Sarah & Williams, David R., 2018. "The effects of whiteness on the health of whites in the USA," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 199(C), pages 148-156.
    19. Alexander Silbersdorff & Julia Lynch & Stephan Klasen & Thomas Kneib, 2018. "Reconsidering the income‐health relationship using distributional regression," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(7), pages 1074-1088, July.
    20. Hemström, Örjan, 2005. "Health inequalities by wage income in Sweden: The role of work environment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 637-647, August.
    21. Godoy, Ricardo & Byron, Elizabeth & Reyes-García, Victoria & Vadez, Vincent & Leonard, William R. & Apaza, Lilian & Huanca, Tomás & Pérez, Eddy & Wilkie, David, 2005. "Income inequality and adult nutritional status: Anthropometric evidence from a pre-industrial society in the Bolivian Amazon," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(5), pages 907-919, September.
    22. Julien Albertini & Anthony Terriau, 2019. "Wealth and health in South Africa," Working Papers 1911, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    23. Blakely, Tony & Wilson, Nick, 2006. "Shifting dollars, saving lives: What might happen to mortality rates, and socio-economic inequalities in mortality rates, if income was redistributed?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 2024-2034, April.
    24. Zimmer, Zachary, 2008. "Poverty, wealth inequality and health among older adults in rural Cambodia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 57-71, January.
    25. Direr, A., 2010. "The taxation of life annuities under adverse selection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 50-58, February.

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