IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Impact of Income Shocks on Health: Evidence from Cohort Data


  • Jérôme Adda
  • James Banks
  • Hans-Martin von Gaudecker


We study the effect of permanent income innovations on health for a prime-aged population. Using information on more than half a million individuals sampled over a 25-year period in three different cross-sectional surveys we aggregate data by date-of-birth cohort to construct a "synthetic cohort" data set with details of income, expenditure, socio-demographic factors, health outcomes, and selected risk factors. We then exploit structural and arguably exogenous changes in cohort incomes over the 1980s and 1990s to uncover causal effects of permanent income shocks on health. We find that such income innovations have little effect on a wide range of health measures, but do lead to increases in mortality and risky health behaviour. (JEL: I10, D31) (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Jérôme Adda & James Banks & Hans-Martin von Gaudecker, 2009. "The Impact of Income Shocks on Health: Evidence from Cohort Data," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1361-1399, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:6:p:1361-1399

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Mortality, Education, Income, and Inequality among American Cohorts," NBER Chapters,in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 129-170 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
    3. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution


    Access and download statistics


    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:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:6:p:1361-1399. 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: (Kristin Waites). General contact details of provider: .

    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.