Income distribution and its effect on mortality in Britain: using the LS to examine the effects of individual level characteristics and degree of income inequality in region of residence on mortality differentials in England and Wales

Jerome Adda and Tarani Chandola, University College London

[Project number 30011]

The effect of income inequality on health has been the subject of academic debate in recent years. Some of this debate is due to the relative lack of longitudinal studies on the effect of aggregate levels of income inequality on individual health outcomes such as mortality. Contrary to theoretical expectations from the literature, longitudinal data from Sweden suggests that the hazard of dying is lower in periods of higher income inequality. It is important to see whether such patterns are replicated in Britain.

The LS dataset represents the most appropriate British data for examining the effect of regional or national level income inequality on individual mortality outcomes while controlling for a number of individual level characteristics. Such analyses would contribute substantially to the debates on the effect of income distribution on health by providing original results using appropriate statistical methods.