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Parental Income, Lifetime Income, and Mortality

  • Mårten Palme
  • Sofia Sandgren

This article studies the relation between parental economic resources and mortality later in life. We use a data set on a cohort of individuals born in 1928 in the county of Malmö in southern Sweden, which contains exceptionally detailed measures of parental household income from five years during the individuals' childhood between 1929 and 1942. The data also contain very rich information on individual earnings throughout these individuals' entire life cycle that allows us to construct a measure of lifetime earnings. Date and cause of death are obtained from national registers. Using Cox proportional hazard models, we find an inverse relationship between parental income and mortality, also when controlling for individual lifetime income and when studying those with high education separately. A competing risk analysis shows the relation between parental income and mortality to apply to cancer as the cause of death. (JEL: D31, I10, I12, J10) (c) 2008 by the European Economic Association.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 890-911

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:6:y:2008:i:4:p:890-911
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  1. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  2. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
  3. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Angus Deaton, 2001. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 8318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Bo E. Honoré & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "Bounds in Competing Risks Models and the War on Cancer," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1675-1698, November.
  7. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Fortunate Sons: New Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Using Social Security Earnings Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 235-255, May.
  8. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  9. Lawrence F. Katz & Bruce D. Meyer, 1988. "Unemployment Insurance, Recall Expectations, And Unemployment Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 2594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Working Papers 11943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Böhlmark, Anders, 2005. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Country, Cohort and Gender Comparisons," Working Paper Series 4/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
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