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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

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  • 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. Matthew Weinzierl, 2014. "Seesaws and Social Security Benefits Indexing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(2 (Fall)), pages 137-196.
    2. 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.
    3. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2013. "FGT Poverty Measures and the Mortality Paradox: Theory and Evidence," PSE Working Papers halshs-00845490, HAL.
    4. 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.
    5. Juan Manuel Pérez-Salamero González & Marta Regúlez Castillo & Carlos Vidal-Meliá, 2021. "Mortality and life expectancy trends for male pensioners by pension income level," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2021-02, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    6. 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.
    7. Lefebvre, Mathieu & Pestieau, Pierre & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2019. "Missing poor and income mobility," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 330-366.
    8. Benjamin Ho & Sita N. Slavov, 2012. "An alternative perspective on health inequality," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3182-3196.
    9. Roozbeh Hosseini & Ali Shourideh, 2019. "Retirement Financing: An Optimal Reform Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(4), pages 1205-1265, July.
    10. Bahram Sanginabadi, 2017. "Resource Abundance and Life Expectancy," Papers 1801.00369, arXiv.org.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Matthew Weinzierl, 2014. "Seesaws and Social Security Benefits Indexing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 49(2 (Fall)), pages 137-196.
    14. 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.
    15. Kevin Milligan & Tammy Schirle, 2021. "The evolution of longevity: Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(1), pages 164-192, February.
    16. Arthur Sakamoto & Christopher R. Tamborini & ChangHwan Kim, 2018. "Long-Term Earnings Differentials Between African American and White Men by Educational Level," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 37(1), pages 91-116, February.
    17. Sanginabadi, Bahram, 2021. "Oil and Mortality," OSF Preprints j2xqw, Center for Open Science.
    18. Stefan Hupfeld, 2011. "Non-monotonicity in the longevity–income relationship," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 191-211, January.
    19. Julian P. Cristia, 2007. "The Empirical Relationship Between Lifetime Earnings and Mortality: Working Paper 2007-11," Working Papers 19096, Congressional Budget Office.

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