Early Exposure to County Income Mobility and Adult Individual Health in the United States
Sebastian Daza1, Alberto Palloni2
1University of Wisconsin Madison, 2UW-Madison
Recent research has suggested that contextual income mobility may play an essential role in explaining the longevity gap in the US. Previous studies – based mostly on aggregate and cross-sectional individual data – show an association between county income mobility and county mortality and individual’s health. However, inferring individual effects from aggregate data can be problematic, and measuring exposure to income mobility using the county where respondents currently live or die, might overlook the selection process associated with residential mobility. This paper aims to extend previous research by estimating the effect of average exposure to mobility regimes during childhood and adolescence on adult health using longitudinal data and accounting for selection into counties over time . We use both the NLSY 1997  and the PSID  with geocoded data to assess the link between county-level income mobility (Chetty’s estimates), behaviors (smoking) and health conditions and status (self-reported health, BMI, depressive symptoms).