Income Inequality and Mortality in U.S. Counties, 1990-2010: A Dynamic Spatial Panel Analysis
Tse-Chuan Yang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Stephen A. Matthews, Pennsylvania State University
Kiwoong Park, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
While the relationship between income inequality and mortality in the U.S. has been well-documented, few studies adopted a longitudinal perspective to investigate the potential lag effect of inequality on mortality. We argue that, if inequality is a determinant of mortality, then the impact on mortality will need time to unfold. The impact of inequality on mortality is analogous to that of diseases that have long latency periods. We created a spatial panel data set (1990-2010) for all counties in the contiguous U.S. by combining restricted Compressed Mortality Files with other public Census data. A dynamic spatial panel model will be applied to this data set to answer three related questions: (1) does the cross-sectional relationship between inequality and morality remain consistent over time? (2) What does a longitudinal analysis yield? And (3) after accounting for other variables, does a longitudinal perspective find evidence of lag effects of inequality on mortality?