The Effect of Political Office on Life Expectancy
19 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2017
Date Written: April 20, 2017
In this paper, we analyze the effect of political office on candidates' health. We build on a novel dataset of birth and death dates of close to all deceased candidates for US gubernatorial office in the post-war period, and estimate causal effects using a regression discontinuity design. We find that candidates who win the gubernatorial election live on average 5 years longer than candidates who lose. These results are robust to a wide range of robustness checks and placebo tests. Our findings suggest that holding political office has important non-monetary benefits.
Keywords: returns to office, longevity, regression discontinuity
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