Mortality, Income, and Income Inequality over Time in Britain and the United States

Angus Deaton and Christina Paxson

in Perspectives on the Economics of Aging

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780226903057
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226903286 | DOI:
Mortality, Income, and Income Inequality over Time in Britain and the United States

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This chapter is concerned with the time-series patterns of mortality, income, and income inequality in the United States and Britain. One starting point is Angus Deaton and Christina Paxson, in which pooled time-series and cross-sectional data from the United States are used to estimate a strong protective effect of income across birth cohorts that closely matched estimates from individual-level data from the National Longitudinal Mortality Study. The chapter finds no evidence for the proposition that year and age-specific income inequality is a health hazard; indeed, the regressions show protective effects of higher inequality, essentially because for adults aged thirty-five and over in the United States, mortality declined more rapidly during the period of rapid increase in income inequality in the 1980s than it did in the 1970s, before income inequality began to increase. The chapter extends its analysis to British data, and to a comparative examination of the British and American mortality experiences.

Keywords: mortality; income; income inequality; United States; Britain; Angus Deaton; Christina Paxson

Chapter.  13828 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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