Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2012:11: Income inequality and health: lessons from a refugee residential assignment program

Hans Grönqvist (), Per Johansson () and Susan Niknami ()
Additional contact information
Hans Grönqvist: Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)
Per Johansson: IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy, Postal: P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Susan Niknami: Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Abstract: This paper examines the effect of income inequality on health for a group of particularly disadvantaged individuals: refugees. Our analysis draws on longitudinal hospitalization records coupled with a settlement policy where Swedish authorities assigned newly arrived refugees to their first area of residence. The policy was implemented in a way that provides a source of plausibly random variation in initial location. The results reveal no statistically significant effect of income inequality on the risk of being hospitalized. This finding holds also for most population subgroups and when separating between different types of diagnoses. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out large effects of income inequality on health.

Keywords: Income inequality; Immigration; Quasi-experiment

JEL-codes: I10; J15

35 pages, May 5, 2012

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