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Top income shares and mortality: Evidence from advanced countries

  • Böckerman, Petri

The paper examines the effect of top income shares on the crude death and infant mortality rates. We use balanced panel data that covers nine advanced countries over the period 1952-1998. Top income shares are measured as the shares of pre-tax income going to the richest 0.1%, 1% and 10% of the population. We also estimate separate effects on both female and male mortality rates. The most important finding is that there is no overall relationship between top income shares and mortality. If anything, the estimates based on gender breakdown show that there is evidence that an increase in income inequality is associated with a decrease in the crude death rate for males.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/19970/1/MPRA_paper_19970.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19970.

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Date of creation: 12 Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19970
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  1. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Helakorpi, Satu & Uutela, Antti, 2007. "Economic Inequality and Health: Looking Beyond Aggregate Indicators," Discussion Papers 1104, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  2. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  3. Andrew Leigh & Christopher Jencks, 2006. "Inequality and Mortality: Long-Run Evidence from a Panel of Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 533, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  5. Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
  6. Roine, Jesper & Vlachos, Jonas & Waldenström, Daniel, 2007. "The Long-run Determinants of Inequality: What Can We Learn from Top Income Data?," Working Paper Series 721, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 30 Apr 2008.
  7. Waldmann, Robert J, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-302, November.
  8. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "How Closely Do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages F619-F633, November.
  9. Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1768-1784, April.
  10. Gravelle, Hugh & Wildman, John & Sutton, Matthew, 2002. "Income, income inequality and health: what can we learn from aggregate data?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 577-589, February.
  11. Babones, Salvatore J., 2008. "Income inequality and population health: Correlation and causality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(7), pages 1614-1626, April.
  12. Sarah Voitchovsky, 2005. "Does the Profile of Income Inequality Matter for Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 273-296, 09.
  13. Atkinson, A. B. & Piketty, Thomas (ed.), 2010. "Top Incomes: A Global Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199286898.
  14. Vincent Hildebrand & Philippe Kerm, 2009. "Income inequality and self-rated health status: Evidence from the european community household panel," Demography, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 805-825, November.
  15. Emmanuel Saez, 2005. "Top Incomes in the United States and Canada Over the Twentieth Century," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 402-411, 04/05.
  16. Paula K. Lorgelly & Joanne Lindley, 2008. "What is the relationship between income inequality and health? Evidence from the BHPS," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 249-265.
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