IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/jopoec/v27y2014i3p841-856.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Testing the relationship between income inequality and life expectancy: a simple correction for the aggregation effect when using aggregated data

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Mayrhofer

    ()

  • Hendrik Schmitz

Abstract

In this paper, we show a simple correction for the aggregation effect when testing the relationship between income inequality and life expectancy using aggregated data. While there is evidence for a negative correlation between income inequality and a population’s average life expectancy, it is not clear whether this is due to an aggregation effect based on a non-linear relationship between income and life expectancy or to income inequality being a health hazard in itself. The proposed correction method is general and independent of measures of income inequality, functional form assumptions of the health production function, and assumptions on the income distribution. We apply it to data from the Human Development Report and find that the relationship between income inequality and life expectancy can be explained entirely by the aggregation effect. Hence, there is no evidence that income inequality itself is a health hazard. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Mayrhofer & Hendrik Schmitz, 2014. "Testing the relationship between income inequality and life expectancy: a simple correction for the aggregation effect when using aggregated data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 841-856, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:3:p:841-856 DOI: 10.1007/s00148-013-0483-7
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-013-0483-7
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 113-158.
    2. Leon-Gonzalez, Roberto & Tseng, Fu Min, 2011. "Socio-economic determinants of mortality in Taiwan: Combining individual and aggregate data," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 23-36, January.
    3. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Griffiths, William E. & Rao, D. S. Prasada, 2007. "Estimating and Combining National Income Distributions Using Limited Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, pages 97-109.
    4. Chotikapanich, Duangkamon & Valenzuela, Rebecca & Rao, D S Prasada, 1997. "Global and Regional Inequality in the Distribution of Income: Estimation with Limited and Incomplete Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 533-546.
    5. Robert J. Waldmann, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-1302.
    6. Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2011. "How does household production affect measured income inequality?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 3-22.
    7. Xavier Chojnicki & Frédéric Docquier & Lionel Ragot, 2011. "Should the US have locked heaven’s door?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 317-359, January.
    8. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
    9. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and … Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397.
    10. Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2011. "How does household production affect measured income inequality?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 3-22.
    11. John Wildman & Hugh Gravelle & Matthew Sutton, 2003. "Health and income inequality: attempting to avoid the aggregation problem," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(9), pages 999-1004.
    12. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-324.
    13. John D. Hey & Peter J. Lambert, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-573.
    14. Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2009. "Parametric Estimations of the World Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 15433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Stefan Hupfeld, 2011. "Non-monotonicity in the longevity–income relationship," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 191-211.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:633-:d:96026 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Md. Samsul Alam & Muhammad Shahbaz & Sudharshan Reddy Paramati, 2016. "The Role of Financial Development and Economic Misery on Life Expectancy: Evidence from Post Financial Reforms in India," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, pages 481-497.
    3. Martina Mysikova & Jiri Vecernik, 2015. "Returns to education in transition and advanced European countries: The role of an expansion of higher education," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10,in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 44, pages 865-886 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; Life expectancy; Aggregation effect; D31; I10; O15;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:3:p:841-856. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.