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Income Inequality and Health: Evidence from Developed and Developing Countries

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  • Herzer, Dierk

    (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg)

  • Nunnenkamo, Peter

    (Kieler Institut für Weltwirtschaft)

Abstract

We assess the effect of income inequality on life expectancy by performing separate estimations for developed and developing countries. Our empirical analysis challenges the widely held view that inequality matters more for health in richer countries than for health in poorer countries. Employing panel cointegration and conventional panel regressions, we find that income inequality increases life expectancy in developed countries. By contrast, the effect on life expectancy is significantly negative in developing countries. While the quantitative effects are small, the striking contrast between the two country groups proves to be robust to modifications in measurement, specification and methodological choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Herzer, Dierk & Nunnenkamo, Peter, 2014. "Income Inequality and Health: Evidence from Developed and Developing Countries," Working Paper 141/2014, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:vhsuwp:2014_141
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    3. Herzer, Dierk & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2015. "Income inequality and health: Evidence from developed and developing countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 9, pages 1-56.
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    12. Rebeira, Mayvis & Grootendorst, Paul & Coyte, Peter C. & Aguirregabiria, Victor, 2017. "Does rising income inequality affect mortality rates in advanced economies?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 11, pages 1-23.
    13. Christine Mayrhuber & Matthias Firgo & Hans Pitlik & Alois Guger & Ewald Walterskirchen, 2018. "Sozialstaat und Standortqualität," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 61006.
    14. Zhiheng Chen & Yuting Ma & Junyi Hua & Yuanhong Wang & Hongpeng Guo, 2021. "Impacts from Economic Development and Environmental Factors on Life Expectancy: A Comparative Study Based on Data from Both Developed and Developing Countries from 2004 to 2016," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(16), pages 1-18, August.
    15. Gheorghița Dincă & Camelia Negri & Mariana Cassiana Ioniță, 2020. "The Impact Of Income Inequality On Mortality In The European Union," Annals of University of Craiova - Economic Sciences Series, University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 2(48), pages 5-17, December.
    16. Boachie, Micheal Kofi, 2015. "Effect of health on economic growth in Ghana:An application of ARDL bounds test to cointegration," MPRA Paper 67201, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Nisar Ahmad & Moodhi Raid & Jumah Alzyadat & Hisham Alhawal, 2023. "Impact of urbanization and income inequality on life expectancy of male and female in South Asian countries: a moderating role of health expenditures," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 10(1), pages 1-9, December.

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    Keywords

    health; inequality; panel cointegration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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