We test whether income inequality undermines female and male life expectancy in the United States. We employ data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and two-way fixed effects to model state-level average life expectancy as a function of multiple income inequality measures and time-varying characteristics. We find that state-level income inequality is inversely associated with female and male life expectancy. We observe this general pattern across four measures of income inequality and under the rigorous conditions of state-specific and year-specific fixed effects. If income inequality undermines life expectancy, redistribution policies could actually improve the health of states.
- Fixed effects
- Income inequality
- Life expectancy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health