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The Intimate Link Between Income Levels and Life Expectancy : Global Evidence from 213 Years

Title data

Jetter, Michael ; Laudage, Sabine ; Stadelmann, David:
The Intimate Link Between Income Levels and Life Expectancy : Global Evidence from 213 Years.
In: Social Science Quarterly. Vol. 100 (2019) Issue 4 . - pp. 1387-1403.
ISSN 1540-6237
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12638

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Objectives What is the main driver of life expectancy across societies and over time? This study aims to document a systematic and quantitatively sizeable relationship between income levels and life expectancy. Method A panel data set of 197 countries over 213 years is analyzed with different regression methods. Robustness tests are provided. Results By itself, GDP per capita explains more than 64 percent of the variation in life expectancy. The Preston curve prevails even when accounting for country- and time-fixed effects, country-specific time trends, and alternative explanatory variables such as health-care expenditure, malaria prevalence, or political institutions. If anything, this link has become stronger over recent decades when data quality has improved. Results from instrumental variable estimations suggest this finding to be largely unaffected by reverse causality. Quantile regression results suggest the relationship between income and life expectancy to be persistent across different levels of life expectancy. Conclusion Income matters for life expectancy. If policymakers want to prolong people's lives, economic growth appears to be the predominant medicine.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Economics
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Economics > Professorship Development Economics > Professorship Development Economics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. David Stadelmann
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Governance and Responsibility
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 08:09
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2019 08:09
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/52830