PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explain relations between socioeconomic factors and gender longevity gap and to test a number of contradicting theories.Design/methodology/approachFixed effects models are used for cross-country panel data analysis.FindingsThe authors show that in developed countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and European Union) a lower gender longevity gap is associated with a higher real GDP per capita, a higher level of urbanization, lower income inequality, lower per capita alcohol consumption and a better ecological environment. An increase in women’s aggregate unemployment rate and a decline in men’s unemployment are associated with a higher gap in life expectancies. There is also some evidence that the effect of the share of women in parliaments has a U-shape; it has a better descriptive efficiency if taken with a four-year lag, which approximately corresponds to the length of political cycles.Research limitations/implicationsFindings are valid only for developed countries.Practical implicationsThe findings are important for policy discussions, such as designs of pension schemes, gender-based taxation, ecological, urban, health and labor policy.Social implicationsThe factors that increase male and female longevities also reduce the gender longevity gap.Originality/valueThe results contradict to a number of studies for developing countries, which show that lower economic development and greater women discrimination result in a lower gender longevity gap.Peer reviewThe peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/IJSE-02-2019-0082
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 20, 2019
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