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September 1998 (Volume 76)
Mary C. Daly
Greg J. Duncan
George A. Kaplan
John W. Lynch
Milbank Memorial Fund
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A growing literature points to links between income inequality and mortality. Any examination of the link should distinguish, both theoretically and empirically, between shifts in inequality that result from changes in the bottom and top of the income distribution. When state-level data from the U.S. censuses of 1980 and 1990 were used to measure differences in mortality, the results indicated that inequality measures reflecting depth of poverty show stronger correlations with mortality than do inequality measures reflecting heights of affluence. In addition, longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics were used to relate state-level inequality measures to individual-level data on mortality. This comparison revealed significant associations between degree of income inequality in state of residence and individual risk of death only for nonelderly individuals with middle-class incomes in 1990.
Author(s): Mary C. Daly; Greg J. Duncan; George A. Kaplan; John W. Lynch
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Volume 76, Issue 3 (pages 315–339) DOI: 10.1111/1468-0009.00094 Published in 1998
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The Milbank Quarterly’s multidisciplinary approach and commitment to applying the best empirical research to practical policymaking offers in-depth assessments of the social, economic, historical, legal, and ethical dimensions of health and health care policy.