We estimate the causal effect of election to political office on natural lifespan using a regression discontinuity design and a novel dataset of winning and losing candidates for US governor, senator, and House representative. We find that candidates gain over a year of life from winning a close election. The effect is strongest for governors, and has grown larger over the course of US history. We also examine the effect of stress experienced in office, finding that serving in more challenging situations is not associated with reduced lifespan.
- Regression discontinuity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management