In the United States, health economists, experts in population studies, and policy makers seek to understand the important factors that augment life expectancy. This paper attempts to identify empirically effects of some major determinants on life expectancy in the United States during the period 1960–2012. Recently developed powerful methods of unit root testing and cointegration analysis, Carrion-i-Silvestre et al. Economet Theor, 25, 1754–1792, (2009), Perron and Yabu J Bus Econ Stat, 27, 369–96, (2009), Kejriwal and Perron J Econ, 146(1), 59–73, (2008), Kejriwal and Perron J Bus Econ Stat, 28(4), 503–522, (2010a), and Maki Econ Model, 29(5), 2011–2015, (2012) that allow for the presence of structural shifts, are employed. The papers’ findings reveal that the level of real per capita income and the level of educational attainment are the factors that affect the level of life expectancy most. Other factors such as the level of real health expenditure per capita and any measure of income inequality, although important, were found to be highly collinear with real per capita income. The policy implications of the results of the paper are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics