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Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey

Jennifer M. Mellor and Jeffrey Milyo
The Journal of Human Resources
Vol. 37, No. 3 (Summer, 2002), pp. 510-539
DOI: 10.2307/3069680
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3069680
Page Count: 30
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Income Inequality and Health Status in the United States: Evidence from the Current Population Survey
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Abstract

Several recent studies have identified an association between income inequality and aggregate health outcomes; this has been taken to be evidence that inequality is detrimental to individual health. We use data from the 1995-99 March Current Population Survey to examine the effect of income inequality on individual health status for both the general population and those individuals in poverty. We find no consistent association between income inequality and individual health status. Our results contradict recent claims that the psychosocial effects of income inequality have dramatic consequences for individual health outcomes.

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