July 2015

IZA DP No. 9176: The Effect of Income on Mortality: New Evidence for the Absence of a Causal Link

published in: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A, 2017, 180 (3), 793 - 816

We analyze the effect of income on mortality in Austria using administrative social security data. To tackle potential endogeneity concerns arising in this context, we estimate time-invariant firm-specific wage components and use them as instruments for actual wages. While we do find quantitatively small yet statistically significant effects in our naïve least squares estimations, IV regressions reveal a robust zero-effect of income on ten-year death rates for prime-age workers, both in terms of coefficient magnitude and statistical significance. These results are robust to a number of different sample specifications and both linear and non-linear estimation methods.