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Mortality and Lifetime Income: Evidence from U.S. Social Security Records

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  • James E Duggan
  • Robert Gillingham
  • John S Greenlees

Abstract

Studies of the empirical relationship between income and mortality often rely on data aggregated by geographic areas and broad population groups and do not distinguish between disabled and nondisabled persons. This paper investigates the relationship between individual mortality and lifetime income with a large microdatabase of current and former retired participants in the U.S. Social Security system. Logit models by gender and race confirm a negative relationship. Differences in age of death between low and high levels of lifetime income are on the order of two to three years. Income-related mortality differences between blacks and whites are largest at low-income levels, but gender differences appear to be large and persistent across income levels. IMF Staff Papers (2008) 55, 566–594. doi:10.1057/imfsp.2008.21; published online 12 August 2008

Suggested Citation

  • James E Duggan & Robert Gillingham & John S Greenlees, 2008. "Mortality and Lifetime Income: Evidence from U.S. Social Security Records," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(4), pages 566-594, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfstp:v:55:y:2008:i:4:p:566-594
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    Cited by:

    1. Gopi Shah Goda & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2011. "Differential Mortality by Income and Social Security Progressivity," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in the Economics of Aging, pages 189-204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Michael Rendall & Margaret Weden & Melissa Favreault & Hilary Waldron, 2011. "The Protective Effect of Marriage for Survival: A Review and Update," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 481-506, May.
    3. Benjamin Ho & Sita N. Slavov, 2012. "An alternative perspective on health inequality," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3182-3196.
    4. Bahram Sanginabadi, 2017. "Resource Abundance and Life Expectancy," Papers 1801.00369, arXiv.org.
    5. Harriet Orcutt Duleep & David Jaeger, 2011. "Earnings Growth versus Measures of Income and Education for Predicting Mortality," Working Papers wp257, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    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. Hernán Bejarano & Hillard Kaplan & Stephen Rassenti, 2014. "Effects of Retirement and Lifetime Earnings Profile on Health Investment," Working Papers 14-21, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

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