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Income inequality and mortality in U.S. cities: Weighing the evidence. A response to Ash

Angus Deaton () and Darren Lubotsky

No 1166, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing.

Abstract: Deaton and Lubotsky (2003) found that the robust positive relationship across American cities between mortality and income inequality became small, insignificant, and/or non-robust once they controlled for the fraction of each city's population that is black. Ash and Robinson (Ash, M., & Robinson D. Inequality, race, and mortality in US cities: a political and econometric review. Social Science and Medicine, 2009) consider alternative weighting schemes and show that in one of our specifications, in one data period, and with one of their alternative weighting schemes, income inequality is estimated to be a risk factor. All of our other specifications, as well as their own preferred specification, replicate our original result, which is supported by the weight of the evidence. Conditional on fraction black, there is no evidence for an effect of income inequality on mortality.

Keywords: Inequality; Race; Health inequality; Mortality; Geography; USA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I00 D19 J11 J13 D13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-04
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