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Mortality and Lifetime Income; Evidence From U.S. Social Security Records

  • John S. Greenlees
  • James E. Duggan
  • Robert Gillingham

Studies of the empirical relationship between income and mortality often rely on data aggregated by geographic areas and broad population groups and do not distinguish disabled and nondisabled persons. We investigate the relationship between individual mortality and lifetime income with a large micro data base of current and former retired participants in the U. S. Social Security system. Logit models by gender and race confirm a negative relationship. Differences in age of death between low and high lifetime income are on the order of two to three years. Income-related mortality differences between blacks and whites are largest at low-income levels while gender differences appear to be large and persistent across income levels.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/15.

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Length: 20
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/15
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  1. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2000. "Differential Mortality and the Value of Individual Account Retirement Annuities," NBER Working Papers 7560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jeffrey B Liebman, 2002. "Redistribution in the Current U.S. Social Security System," Working Papers 02-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. O. Attanasio & H. W. Hoynes, . "Differential mortality and wealth accumulation," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1079-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. James E. Duggan & Robert Gillingham & John S. Greenlees, 1993. "Returns Paid To Early Social Security Cohorts," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(4), pages 1-13, October.
  5. Duggan, James E & Gillingham, Robert, 1999. "The Effect of Errors in the CPI on Social Security Finances," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(2), pages 161-69, April.
  6. James E. Duggan & Christopher J. Soares, 2002. "Actuarial Nonequivalence in Early and Delayed Social Security Benefit Claims," Public Finance Review, , vol. 30(3), pages 188-207, May.
  7. Harriet Orcutt Duleep, 1986. "Measuring the Effect of Income on Adult Mortality Using Longitudinal Administrative Record Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 238-251.
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