Date of Award

January 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Economics & Finance

First Advisor

Xiao Wang


This study is an examination of the relationship between income inequality and numerous indicators that capture the physical health of the citizens, additionally controlling for numerous other confounding factors. The analysis contributes to the literature by examining this relationship at a more disaggregated level within the Unites States than previous studies. This approach may help us to explore any impacts of income inequality on health that are lost in aggregation. The analysis also includes the most recent recession and adds to the literature the impact of inequality on health during a period of economic crisis. Results suggest that there is a strong relationship between income inequality and health indicators at the U.S. county level, and that the health of American citizens is negatively affected by increasing disparities in income. Even when controlling for the economic recession, income per capita, population density, and the unemployment rate, this relationship is still significant.