Mathieu Lefebvre

Séminaires généraux
amse seminar

Mathieu Lefebvre

BETA ; CREPP ; Global Labor Organization ; LEES
Missing poor in the US
Co-écrit avec
Pierre Pestieau, Grégory Ponthière

IBD Amphi

Îlot Bernard du Bois - Amphithéâtre

5-9 boulevard Maurice Bourdet
13001 Marseille

Lundi 28 septembre 2020| 11:30 - 12:45

Ewen Gallic : ewen.gallic[at]
Avner Seror : avner.seror[at]


Given that poor individuals face worse survival conditions than non- poor individuals, one can expect that a steeper income/mortality gradient leads, through stronger income-based selection, to a lower poverty rate at the old age (i.e. the “missing poor” hypothesis). This paper uses U.S. state-level and county-level data on poverty at age 65+ and life expectancy by income levels to provide an empirical test of the missing poor hypothesis. Using the weather condition, especially average temperature, as an instrument for mortality differentials, we show that instrumented changes in mortality differentials have a negative and statistically significant effect on old-age poverty: a 1 % increase in the mortality differential implies a 9 % decrease in the 65+ headcount poverty rate. Using those regression results, we compute hypothetical old-age poverty rates while neutralizing the impact of the income/mortality gradient, and show that correcting for heterogeneity in income-based selection effects modifies the comparison of old-age poverty prevalence across states.

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