210/214 Thomas Plümper and Eric Neumayer
Objectives: We examined the effects of market income inequality (income inequality before taxes and transfers) and income redistribution via taxes and transfers on inequality in longevity. Methods: Life tables were used to compute Gini coefficients of longevity inequality for all individuals and for individuals that survived at least to the age of ten. Longevity inequality was regressed on market income inequality and income redistribution controlling for a range of potential confounders in a cross-sectional time-series sample of up to 29 predominantly Western developed countries and up to 37 years. Results: Income inequality before taxes and transfers had a positive effect on inequality in the number of years lived, while income redistribution (the difference between market income inequality and income inequality after taxes and transfers have been accounted for) had a negative effect on longevity inequality. Conclusions: Governments can reduce inequality in the number of years lived not only via public health policies, but also via their influence on market income inequality and the redistribution of incomes from the relatively rich to the relatively poor.
American Journal of Public Health