Inequalities of Income and Inequalities of Longevity: A Cross-Country Study

American Journal of Public Health, 106 (1), 2016, pp. 160-165

Posted: 14 May 2018

See all articles by Eric Neumayer

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Thomas Pluemper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics; University of Essex - Department of Government

Date Written: April 29, 2018

Abstract

Objectives. We examined the effects of market income inequality (income inequality before taxes and transfers) and income redistribution via taxes and transfers on inequality in longevity.

Methods. We used life tables to compute Gini coefficients of longevity inequality for all individuals and for individuals who survived to at least 10 years of age. We regressed longevity inequality on market income inequality and income redistribution, and we controlled for potential confounders, in a cross-sectional time-series sample of up to 28 predominantly Western developed countries and up to 37 years (1974–2011).

Results. Income inequality before taxes and transfers was positively associated with inequality in the number of years lived; income redistribution (the difference between market income inequality and income inequality after taxes and transfers were accounted for) was negatively associated with longevity inequality.

Conclusions. To the extent that our estimated effects derived from observational data are causal, governments can reduce longevity inequality not only via public health policies, but also via their influence on market income inequality and the redistribution of incomes from the relatively rich to the relatively poor.

Keywords: life expectancy, mortality, income inequality, health inequality

Suggested Citation

Neumayer, Eric and Plümper, Thomas, Inequalities of Income and Inequalities of Longevity: A Cross-Country Study (April 29, 2018). American Journal of Public Health, 106 (1), 2016, pp. 160-165. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3170546

Eric Neumayer (Contact Author)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

Thomas Plümper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics ( email )

Vienna
Austria

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsci.org/pluemper

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