Linking Changes in Inequality in Life Expectancy and Mortality: Evidence from Denmark and the United States

59 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2020

See all articles by Gordon B. Dahl

Gordon B. Dahl

UC San Diego - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Rochester - Department of Economics

Claus Kreiner

University of Copenhagen

Torben Heien Nielsen

University of Copenhagen

Benjamin Ly Serena

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

We decompose changing gaps in life expectancy between rich and poor into differential changes in age-specific mortality rates and differences in "survivability". Declining age-specific mortality rates increases life expectancy, but the gain is small if the likelihood of living to this age is small (ex ante survivability) or if the expected remaining lifetime is short (ex post survivability). Lower survivability of the poor explains half of the recent rise in life expectancy inequality in the US and the entire rise in Denmark. Cardiovascular mortality declines favored the poor, but differences in lifestyle-related survivability led inequality to rise.

JEL Classification: I140

Suggested Citation

Dahl, Gordon B. and Kreiner, Claus and Nielsen, Torben Heien and Serena, Benjamin Ly, Linking Changes in Inequality in Life Expectancy and Mortality: Evidence from Denmark and the United States (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8417, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3653942

Gordon B. Dahl (Contact Author)

UC San Diego - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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University of Rochester - Department of Economics

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Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Claus Kreiner

University of Copenhagen

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Copenhagen, DK-1165
Denmark

Torben Heien Nielsen

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

Benjamin Ly Serena

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5, Bygn 26
Copenhagen, 1353
Denmark

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