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

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John S. Greenlees & James E. Duggan & Robert Gillingham, 2007. "Mortality and Lifetime Income; Evidence from U.S. Social Security Records," IMF Working Papers 07/15, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2002. "Redistribution in the Current U.S. Social Security System," NBER Chapters,in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 11-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Orazio P. Attanasio & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Differential Mortality and Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 1-29.
    5. Jeffrey Brown, 2002. "Differential Mortality and the Value of Individual Account Retirement Annuities," NBER Chapters,in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 401-446 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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 161-169, April.
    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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    Cited by:

    1. LEFEBVRE, Mathieu & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2017. "Missing poor and income mobility," CORE Discussion Papers 2017035, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    2. Matthew Weinzierl, 2014. "Seesaws and Social Security Benefits Indexing," NBER Working Papers 20671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cristia, Julian P., 2009. "Rising mortality and life expectancy differentials by lifetime earnings in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 984-995, September.
    4. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2013. "FGT Poverty Measures and the Mortality Paradox: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers halshs-00845490, HAL.
    5. Gopi Shah Goda & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2011. "Differential Mortality by Income and Social Security Progressivity," NBER Chapters,in: Explorations in the Economics of Aging, pages 189-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mathieu Lefebvre & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2013. "FGT Poverty Measures and the Mortality Paradox: Theory and Evidence," PSE Working Papers halshs-00845490, HAL.
    7. Matthew Weinzierl, 2014. "Seesaws and Social Security Benefits Indexing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 49(2 (Fall)), pages 137-196.
    8. Hernán Bejarano & Hillard Kaplan & Stephen Rassenti, 2014. "Effects of Retirement and Lifetime Earnings Profile on Health Investment," Working Papers 14-21, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
    9. Michael Rendall & Margaret Weden & Melissa Favreault & Hilary Waldron, 2011. "The Protective Effect of Marriage for Survival: A Review and Update," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 481-506, May.
    10. Matthew Weinzierl, 2014. "Seesaws and Social Security Benefits Indexing," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(2 (Fall)), pages 137-196.
    11. Benjamin Ho & Sita N. Slavov, 2012. "An alternative perspective on health inequality," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3182-3196.
    12. Hosseini, Roozbeh & Shourideh, Ali, 2016. "Retirement Financing: An Optimal Reform Approach," MPRA Paper 71613, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Jan 2016.
    13. Bahram Sanginabadi, 2017. "Resource Abundance and Life Expectancy," Papers 1801.00369, arXiv.org.
    14. Stefan Hupfeld, 2011. "Non-monotonicity in the longevity–income relationship," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 191-211, January.
    15. Harriet Orcutt Duleep & David Jaeger, 2011. "Earnings Growth versus Measures of Income and Education for Predicting Mortality," Working Papers wp257, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

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