Income and Preventable Mortality: The Case of Youth Traffic Fatalities
The income-health gradient is a well-established finding in public health. This paper explores the gradient between income and different types of mortality: mortality that can be ameliorated via specific public policy measures, namely traffic fatalities, and mortality that is due to more “natural” causes, such as infectious disease. Using U.S. state-level data, growth in traffic mortality for 15-19 year-olds is shown to be more sensitive to initial levels of median income than growth in non-injury mortality. In addition, some but not all traffic safety legislation aimed at this age group is shown to be associated with lower mortality. Results are established via cross-section estimates, panel-data type models, and tests of one-step-ahead prediction
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