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Welfare states and population health: The role of minimum income benefits for mortality

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  • Nelson, Kenneth
  • Fritzell, Johan

Abstract

The causes of cross-national differences in population health are subject for intense discussion, often focusing on the role of structural economic factors. Although population health is widely believed to reflect the living conditions in society, surprisingly few comparative studies systematically assess policy impacts of anti-poverty programs. In this paper we estimate the influence of minimum income benefits on mortality using international data on benefit levels in 18 countries 1990–2009. Included are all major non-contributory benefits that low-income households may receive. Our analyses, based on fixed effects pooled time-series regression, show that minimum income benefits improve mortality, measured in terms of age-standardized death rates and life expectancy. The results on country-level links between minimum income benefits and mortality are remarkably robust in terms of measured confounding effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Nelson, Kenneth & Fritzell, Johan, 2014. "Welfare states and population health: The role of minimum income benefits for mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 63-71.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:112:y:2014:i:c:p:63-71
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.04.029
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Beckfield, Jason & Bambra, Clare, 2016. "Shorter lives in stingier states: Social policy shortcomings help explain the US mortality disadvantage," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 30-38.
    2. repec:eee:socmed:v:200:y:2018:i:c:p:9-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Johan Fritzell & Johan Rehnberg & Jennie Bacchus Hertzman & Jenni Blomgren, 2015. "Absolute or relative? A comparative analysis of the relationship between poverty and mortality," LIS Working papers 637, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    4. Johan Fritzell & Johan Rehnberg & Jennie Bacchus Hertzman & Jenni Blomgren, 2015. "Absolute or relative? A comparative analysis of the relationship between poverty and mortality," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(1), pages 101-110, January.

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