Does Rising Income Yield Higher Life Expectancy? Findings from Eastern Germany after Unification

Tobias C. Vogt, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Since the social, economic and political transformation following the German unification, Eastern Germans have experienced large increases in life expectancy almost closing the gap to their Western compatriots. By making use of the natural- experiment setting, this elaboration seeks to shed some light on the role of rising income in lowering mortality after unification. The estimation draws upon process data taken from the German pension fund which covers 98% of recipients of public retirement benefits in Eastern Germany. In terms of life- expectancy, we expect firstly, that not only higher incomes in general entailed these gains but, secondly, that pensioners above 65 benefited most of higher retirement benefits.

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Presented in Session 62: Demographic and Economic Outcomes of Immigration