Wealth, health, and child development

Evidence from administrative data on Swedish lottery players

David Cesarini, Erik Lindqvist, Robert Östling, Björn Wallace

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We use administrative data on Swedish lottery players to estimate the causal impact of substantial wealth shocks on players' own health and their children's health and developmental outcomes. Our estimation sample is large, virtually free of attrition, and allows us to control for the factors conditional on which the prizes were randomly assigned. In adults, we find no evidence that wealth impacts mortality or health care utilization, with the possible exception of a small reduction in the consumption of mental health drugs. Our estimates allow us to rule out effects on 10-year mortality one sixth as large as the crosssectional wealth-mortality gradient. In our intergenerational analyses, we find that wealth increases children's health care utilization in the years following the lottery and may also reduce obesity risk. The effects on most other child outcomes, including drug consumption, scholastic performance, and skills, can usually be bounded to a tight interval around zero. Overall, our findings suggest that in affluent countries with extensive social safety nets, causal effects of wealth are not a major source of the wealth-mortality gradients, nor of the observed relationships between child developmental outcomes and household income.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)687-738
    Number of pages52
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
    Volume131
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    Health
    Lottery
    Wealth
    Child development
    Administrative data
    Mortality
    Gradient
    Health care utilization
    Drugs
    Children's health
    Attrition
    Social safety net
    Household income
    Obesity
    Factors
    Mental health
    Causal effect

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics

    Cite this

    Wealth, health, and child development : Evidence from administrative data on Swedish lottery players. / Cesarini, David; Lindqvist, Erik; Östling, Robert; Wallace, Björn.

    In: Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 131, No. 2, 2016, p. 687-738.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Cesarini, David ; Lindqvist, Erik ; Östling, Robert ; Wallace, Björn. / Wealth, health, and child development : Evidence from administrative data on Swedish lottery players. In: Quarterly Journal of Economics. 2016 ; Vol. 131, No. 2. pp. 687-738.
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