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Mortality and Immortality

Author

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  • Rablen, Matthew D.

    () (University of Sheffield)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    () (University of Warwick)

Abstract

It has been known for centuries that the rich and famous have longer lives than the poor and ordinary. Causality, however, remains trenchantly debated. The ideal experiment would be one in which status and money could somehow be dropped upon a sub-sample of individuals while those in a control group received neither. This paper attempts to formulate a test in that spirit. It collects 19th-century birth data on science Nobel Prize winners and nominees. Using a variety of corrections for potential biases, the paper concludes that winning the Nobel Prize, rather than merely being nominated, is associated with between 1 and 2 years of extra longevity. Greater wealth, as measured by the real value of the Prize, does not seem to affect lifespan.

Suggested Citation

  • Rablen, Matthew D. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Mortality and Immortality," IZA Discussion Papers 2560, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2560
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Economics of Nobel Laureates
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-10-19 03:10:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno S. Frey & Susanne Neckermann, 2008. "Awards in Economics - Towards a New Field of Inquiry," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-33, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    2. Christopher J. Boyce & Andrew J. Oswald, 2012. "Do people become healthier after being promoted?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 580-596, May.
    3. KRAPF, Matthias & SCHLÄPFER, Jörg, 2012. "How Nobel Laureates Would Perform In The Handelsblatt Ranking," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 12(3).
    4. Martin Salm, 2011. "The Effect of Pensions on Longevity: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(552), pages 595-619, May.
    5. Jacques Poot, 2007. "Demographic Change and Regional Competitiveness: The Effects of Immigration and Ageing," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-64, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
    6. Rablen, Matthew D. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Mortality and immortality: The Nobel Prize as an experiment into the effect of status upon longevity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1462-1471, December.
    7. Anna Aizer & Laura Stroud & Stephen Buka, 2016. "Maternal Stress and Child Outcomes: Evidence from Siblings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(3), pages 523-555.
    8. Philipp Koellinger & Matthijs Loos & Patrick Groenen & A. Thurik & Fernando Rivadeneira & Frank Rooij & André Uitterlinden & Albert Hofman, 2010. "Genome-wide association studies in economics and entrepreneurship research: promises and limitations," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 1-18, July.
    9. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2012. "Conspicuous consumption and satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 183-191.
    10. Karol Jan BOROWIECKI & Georgios KAVETSOS, 2011. "Does Competition Kill? The Case of Classical Composers," Trinity Economics Papers tep1111, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    11. Baffes, John & Vamvakidis, Athanasios, 2011. "Are you too young for the Nobel Prize?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1345-1353.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    longevity; status; health; wealth; mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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