Assessing New Data Source for Measuring Income Volatility to Study Its Relationship with Mortality in the U.S.

This pilot will assess the use of data from a commercial consumer database on all households in the U.S. to construct reliable measures of the volatility of household income. If successful, the resulting data will be used to assess the relationships between income volatility and mortality in the U.S. and how that relationship varies by race/ethnicity, age and gender of heads of households in the U.S. Study of the latter relationship has been hampered by the lack of availability of samples of households in the U.S. that contain longitudinal data on income and that are of sufficient size to form reliable estimates for all or most counties in the U.S. for different race/ethnic, age and gender groups. If this assessment of the measures of income volatility produced by this data source are positive, others will be able to conduct the first large-scale assessment of the role that income volatility may have played in explaining the recent declines in life expectancy for working age adults in the U.S. and may explain differences in mortality rates by regions of the U.S., and disparities in mortality across racial and ethnic groups.

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