Death, Dollars and Degrees

The academic pipeline being what it is, my paper with Philip Clarke on mortality and socioeconomic status has just been published in Economic Papers. Titled 'Death, Dollars & Degrees: Socioeconomic Status and Longevity in Australia', it estimates how much longer someone in the richest fifth of the income distribution can expect to live than someone in the poorest fifth (6 years), and how much longer someone with a diploma/degree can expect to live than someone with a junior high school degree (5 years). We're the first in Australia to come up with these figures using individual-level data (rather than regional aggregates).

Our findings represent massive differences, given that most of us would give up a large share of our income to buy a handful of extra years on the planet. Indeed, the Department of Finance uses for its costings the figure of $151,000 for an additional year of life.

The paper has been written up by Peter Martin (in the SMH/Age), and Philip and I had a very pleasant chat with Peter Mares on the ABC radio National Interest program.

And while I'm on the topic of research, I thought I'd let you know that I'm off to Munich on Saturday to give the keynote talk at a CESifo conference on the economics of education. My topic is the politics and economics of teacher performance pay. I'll post the paper here when it's ready (likely to be a month or so before I have a polished version).

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8/1 Torrens Street, Braddon ACT 2612 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au