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Estimating the Causal Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on Income-Related Mortality

Author

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  • Gerdtham, Ulf-G.

    () (Department of Economics, Lund University)

  • Heckley, Gawain

    () (Health Economics Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences (Malmö), Lund University, Sweden)

  • Lissdaniels, Johannes

    () (Health Economics Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences (Malmö), Lund University, Sweden)

Abstract

To-date the macroeconomic conditions-mortality literature on income-related inequality in mortality has relied on subgroup analysis, mainly using income as a stratification variable, but this nearly always causes selection bias yielding results that are hard to interpret. To solve this bad control problem, we apply a novel technique based on recentered influence function regression of overall income-related mortality measures, like the commonly used concentration index. We also highlight the importance of: i) measurement of relative versus absolute inequality; ii) measurement of inequality by population-level statistics of inequality (concentration indices) versus subgroup analysis; iii) measurement of short versus long-term income. We illustrate these issues and our suggested solution using detailed individual-level administrative data from Sweden. Our findings show that there overall is a (insignificant) counter-cyclical impact on mortality and its income-related inequality. During a sub-period of pronounced and significant counter-cyclical mortality we find support for accompanying counter-cyclical income-related inequality, but only when using short-term income.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Heckley, Gawain & Lissdaniels, Johannes, 2020. "Estimating the Causal Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on Income-Related Mortality," Working Papers 2020:22, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2020_022
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2006. "Deaths rise in good economic times: Evidence from the OECD," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 298-316, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortality; Macroeconomic conditions; Unemployment; Recentered influence function; Inequality; Concentration index.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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