Mortality and Immortality

33 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2007

See all articles by Matthew D. Rablen

Matthew D. Rablen

University of Sheffield - Department of Economics

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 2007

Abstract

It has been known for centuries that the rich and famous have longer lives than the poor and ordinary. Causality, however, remains trenchantly debated. The ideal experiment would be one in which status and money could somehow be dropped upon a sub-sample of individuals while those in a control group received neither. This paper attempts to formulate a test in that spirit. It collects 19th-century birth data on science Nobel Prize winners and nominees. Using a variety of corrections for potential biases, the paper concludes that winning the Nobel Prize, rather than merely being nominated, is associated with between 1 and 2 years of extra longevity. Greater wealth, as measured by the real value of the Prize, does not seem to affect lifespan.

Keywords: longevity, status, health, wealth, mortality

JEL Classification: I12

Suggested Citation

Rablen, Matthew D. and Oswald, Andrew J., Mortality and Immortality (January 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2560. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=958726

Matthew D. Rablen

University of Sheffield - Department of Economics ( email )

9 Mappin Street
Sheffield, S1 4DT
United Kingdom

Andrew J. Oswald (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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