Inequity in the face of death

We apply the theory of inequality in opportunity to measure inequity in mortality. Our empirical work is based on a rich dataset for the Netherlands (1998-2007), linking information about mortality, health events and lifestyles. We show that distinguishing between differentchannels via which mortality is a¤ected is necessary to test the sensitivity of the results with respect to different normative positions. Moreover, our model allows for a comparison of theinequity in simulated counterfactual situations, including an evaluation of policy measures.We explicitly make a distinction between inequity in mortality risks and inequity in mortality outcomes. The treatment of this difference – “luck”- has a crucial influence on the results.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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