The Effect of Political Office on Life Expectancy

19 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2017  

Sebastian Barfort

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government

Robert Klemmensen

University of Southern Denmark, Department of Political Science

Date Written: April 20, 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Barfort, Sebastian and Klemmensen, Robert, The Effect of Political Office on Life Expectancy (April 20, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2991998 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2991998

Sebastian Barfort (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Government ( email )

Houghton St,
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Robert Klemmensen

University of Southern Denmark, Department of Political Science ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

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