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Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as an Exogenous Source of Variation in Income

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  • Mikael Lindahl

Abstract

A vast literature has established a strong positive relation between income and health status and a negative relation with mortality. This paper studies the effects of income on health and mortality, using only the part of income variation due to a truly exogenous factor: monetary lottery prizes of individuals. The findings are that higher income causally generates good health and that this effect is of a similar magnitude as when traditional estimation techniques are used. A 10 percent income increase improves health by about 4–5 percent of a standard deviation.

Suggested Citation

  • Mikael Lindahl, 2005. "Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as an Exogenous Source of Variation in Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:40:y:2005:i:1:p144-168
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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