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Income Volatility and Health


  • Timothy Halliday

    () (Department of Economics & John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Institute for Labor Study (IZA))


We investigate the impact of exogenous income fluctuations on health using twenty years of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. To unravel the impact of income on health from unobserved heterogeneity and reverse causality, we employ techniques from the literature on the estimation of dynamic panel data models. Contrary to much of the previous literature on health and socio-economic status, we find that, on average, adverse income shocks lead to a deterioration of health. These effects are most pronounced for working-aged men and are dominated by transitions into the very bottom of the earnings distribution. We also provide suggestive evidence of an association between negative income shocks and higher mortality for working-aged men.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Halliday, 2007. "Income Volatility and Health," Working Papers 200729, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200729

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
    2. Halliday, Timothy J., 2007. "Business cycles, migration and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 1420-1424, April.
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    7. 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.
    8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
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    10. Carrasco, Raquel, 2001. "Binary Choice with Binary Endogenous Regressors in Panel Data: Estimating the Effect of Fertility on Female Labor Participation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(4), pages 385-394, October.
    11. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters,in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Arellano, Manuel & Carrasco, Raquel, 2003. "Binary choice panel data models with predetermined variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 125-157, July.
    13. Meer, Jonathan & Miller, Douglas L. & Rosen, Harvey S., 2003. "Exploring the health-wealth nexus," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 713-730, September.
    14. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 93-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gunasekara, Fiona Imlach & Carter, Kristie & Blakely, Tony, 2011. "Change in income and change in self-rated health: Systematic review of studies using repeated measures to control for confounding bias," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 193-201, January.
    2. Melinda Podor & Timothy J. Halliday, 2012. "Health status and the allocation of time," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 514-527, May.
    3. Timothy Halliday, 2011. "Earnings Growth and Movements in Self-Reported Health," Working Papers 201117, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Gradient; Health; Dynamic Panel Data Models; Recessions;

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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