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Causal effect of income on health: Investigating two closely related policy reforms in Austria

I investigate the effect of income on mortality of the pensioners, comparing three subsequent policy periods in Austria. The pensioners who retired in the second period received 25% lower pension than those in the first period. This reduction in income was removed in the third policy period. These two reforms allow a causal identification of the effect of income on health. I estimate that lower pension did not change the mortality rate. The results are confirmed using both experiments and different methods of estimation. Furthermore, with regard to the expenditure on health services, I get that only prescribed drug consumption increased, with the remaining analyzed factors being unaffected.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2011-06.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2011_06
Contact details of provider: Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
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  1. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
  2. Smith, James P, 1998. "Socioeconomic Status and Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 192-96, May.
  3. Paul Contoyannis & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice, 2004. "The dynamics of health in the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 473-503.
  4. Mikael Lindahl, 2005. "Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as an Exogenous Source of Variation in Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  5. Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian social security database," IEW - Working Papers 410, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    • Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  6. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  7. Helmut Hofer & Reinhard Koman, 2006. "Social security and retirement incentives in Austria," Empirica, Springer, vol. 33(5), pages 285-313, December.
  8. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  9. John Cawley & John R. Moran & Kosali I. Simon, 2008. "The Impact of Income on the Weight of Elderly Americans," NBER Working Papers 14104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Frijters, Paul & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Shields, Michael A., 2005. "The causal effect of income on health: Evidence from German reunification," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 997-1017, September.
  11. Martin Falk, 2006. "What drives business Research and Development (R&D) intensity across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 533-547.
  12. Adams, Peter & Hurd, Michael D. & McFadden, Daniel & Merrill, Angela & Ribeiro, Tiago, 2003. "Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Tests for direct causal paths between health and socioeconomic status," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 3-56, January.
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