IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Income Inequality and Health: Evidence from Developed and Developing Countries

  • Herzer, Dierk


    (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg)

  • Nunnenkamo, Peter


    (Kieler Institut für Weltwirtschaft)

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg in its series Working Paper with number 141/2014.

in new window

Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 17 Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:vhsuwp:2014_141
Contact details of provider: Postal: Holstenhofweg 85, D-22043 Hamburg
Phone: +49 (0)40 6541 2590
Fax: +49 (0)40 6541 2780
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Breitung, Jörg, 2002. "A parametric approach to the estimation of cointegration vectors in panel data," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2002,3, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  2. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Carl S Bonham & Richard H Cohen, 2000. "To Aggregate, Pool, or Neither: Testing the Rational Expectations Hypothesis Using Survey Data," Working Papers 200003, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  4. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  5. Frederick Solt, 2009. "Standardizing the World Income Inequality Database," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(2), pages 231-242.
  6. Holly, Sean & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Yamagata, Takashi, 2006. "A Spatio-Temporal Model of House Prices in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 2338, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993. "Education, democracy and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
  8. Spilimbergo, Antonio & Vamvakidis, Athanasios, 2003. "Real effective exchange rate and the constant elasticity of substitution assumption," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 337-354, August.
  9. Peter Pedroni, 2007. "Social capital, barriers to production and capital shares: implications for the importance of parameter heterogeneity from a nonstationary panel approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 429-451.
  10. Waldmann, Robert J, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-302, November.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
  12. Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Leeson, George, 2010. "Income inequality and health: Importance of a cross-country perspective," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 875-885, March.
  13. Juselius, Katarina, 2006. "The Cointegrated VAR Model: Methodology and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199285679.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Stock, James H, 1987. "Asymptotic Properties of Least Squares Estimators of Cointegrating Vectors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 1035-56, September.
  17. Lutkepohl, Helmut, 2007. "General-to-specific or specific-to-general modelling? An opinion on current econometric terminology," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 319-324, January.
  18. Leigh, Andrew, 2006. "Does equality lead to fraternity?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 121-125, October.
  19. Nelson C. Mark & Donggyu Sul, 2002. "Cointegration Vector Estimation by Panel DOLS and Long-Run Money Demand," NBER Technical Working Papers 0287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Etienne J-M. & Skalli A. & Theodossiou I., 2005. "Do Economic Inequalities Harm Health? Evidence from Europe," Working Papers ERMES 0511, ERMES, University Paris 2.
  21. Peter C. B. Phillips & Hyungsik R. Moon, 1999. "Linear Regression Limit Theory for Nonstationary Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1057-1112, September.
  22. Pesaran, M.H. & Smith, R., 1992. "Estimating Long-Run Relationships From Dynamic Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9215, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  23. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  24. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 113-158, March.
  25. Soobader, Mah-Jabeen & LeClere, Felicia B., 1999. "Aggregation and the measurement of income inequality: effects on morbidity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 733-744, March.
  26. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
  27. Desbordes, Rodolphe & Verardi, Vincenzo, 2012. "Refitting the Kuznets curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 258-261.
  28. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "A simple panel unit root test in the presence of cross-section dependence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 265-312.
  29. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  30. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  31. 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.
  32. Simone Borghesi & Alessandro Vercelli, 2003. "Globalisation, Inequality and Health," Department of Economics University of Siena 413, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  33. Wagner, Martin & Hlouskova, Jaroslava, 2007. "The Performance of Panel Cointegration Methods. Results from a Large Scale Simulation Study," Economics Series 210, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  34. Christophe Hurlin & Elena Dumitrescu, 2012. "Testing for Granger Non-causality in Heterogeneous Panels," Working Papers halshs-00224434, HAL.
  35. Davidson, James, 1998. "Structural relations, cointegration and identification: some simple results and their application," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 87-113, August.
  36. Baltagi, Badi H. & Griffin, James M., 1997. "Pooled estimators vs. their heterogeneous counterparts in the context of dynamic demand for gasoline," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 303-327, April.
  37. F. Moscone & E. Tosetti, 2010. "Health expenditure and income in the United States," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(12), pages 1385-1403, December.
  38. Herzer, Dierk & Nunnenkamp, Peter, 2015. "Income inequality and health: Evidence from developed and developing countries," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 9, pages 1-56.
  39. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Pedroni, Peter, 2004. "Panel Cointegration: Asymptotic And Finite Sample Properties Of Pooled Time Series Tests With An Application To The Ppp Hypothesis," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(03), pages 597-625, June.
  41. 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.
  42. Michael Anderson & Michael Marmot, 2012. "The Effects of Promotions on Heart Disease: Evidence from Whitehall," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 555-589, 06.
  43. Herzer, Dierk, 2008. "The long-run relationship between outward FDI and domestic output: Evidence from panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 146-149, July.
  44. Willem Thorbecke & Gordon Smith, 2010. "How Would an Appreciation of the Renminbi and Other East Asian Currencies Affect China's Exports?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 95-108, 02.
  45. Dierk Herzery & Holger Strulik & Sebastian Vollmer, 2010. "The Long-run Determinants of Fertility: One Century of Demographic Change 1900-1999," PGDA Working Papers 6310, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  46. Marcus J. Chambers, 2001. "Cointegration and Sampling Frequency," Economics Discussion Papers 531, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  47. Lucas Ronconi & Timothy T. Brown & Richard M. Scheffler, 2012. "Social capital and self‐rated health in Argentina," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 201-208, 02.
  48. Bun, Maurice J.G. & Kiviet, Jan F., 2006. "The effects of dynamic feedbacks on LS and MM estimator accuracy in panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 409-444, June.
  49. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2004. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1331, CESifo Group Munich.
  50. Herzer, Dierk, 2009. "Cross-country heterogeneity and the trade-income relationship," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 13, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  51. Peter Pedroni, 2001. "Purchasing Power Parity Tests In Cointegrated Panels," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 727-731, November.
  52. d'Hombres, Beatrice & Rocco, Lorenzo & Suhrcke, Marc & McKee, Martin, 2006. "Does social capital determine health? Evidence from eight transition countries," MPRA Paper 1862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  53. Juselius, Katarina, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of the Changing Role of the German Bundesbank after 1983," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(4), pages 791-819, November.
  54. Rolf Larsson & Johan Lyhagen & Mickael Lothgren, 2001. "Likelihood-based cointegration tests in heterogeneous panels," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages 41.
  55. Miller, Douglas L. & Paxson, Christina, 2006. "Relative income, race, and mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 979-1003, September.
  56. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
  57. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  58. Kao, Chihwa, 1999. "Spurious regression and residual-based tests for cointegration in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 1-44, May.
  59. Everaert Gerdie, 2011. "Estimation and Inference in Time Series with Omitted I(1) Variables," Journal of Time Series Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-28, January.
  60. 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.
  61. Click, Reid W. & Plummer, Michael G., 2005. "Stock market integration in ASEAN after the Asian financial crisis," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 5-28, February.
  62. Zheng, Hui, 2012. "Do people die from income inequality of a decade ago?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 36-45.
  63. Entorf, Horst, 1997. "Random walks with drifts: Nonsense regression and spurious fixed-effect estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 287-296, October.
  64. Orazio P. Attanasio & Lucio Picci & Antonello E. Scorcu, 2000. "Saving, Growth, and Investment: A Macroeconomic Analysis Using a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 182-211, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:vhsuwp:2014_141. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Bekcmann)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.