Dying to Win? Olympic Gold Medals and Longevity March 2018 By Adam Leive Dying to Win? Olympic Gold Medals and Longevity This paper compares mortality between Gold and Silver medalists in Olympic Track and Field to study how achievement influences health. Contrary to conventional wisdom, winners die over one year earlier than losers. Data on pre-Olympic performances and each athlete’s career length suggest that selection is unlikely to explain the results. There is suggestive evidence that income may be one mechanism: losers pursued higher-paying occupations than winners after the Olympics according to individual Census records. How people respond to success or failure in pivotal life events may produce long-lasting consequences for health. Dying_to_Win_Leive_3_2018.pdf Adam Leive Adam Leive joins the Batten faculty as an economist with interests at the intersection of health, risk and public policy. Leive studies consumer choices of health insurance plans, as well as taxation and regulation in markets for health insurance and medical care. Read full bio Related Content Adam Leive A Cautionary Tale in Comparative Effectiveness Research: Perils and Pitfalls of Observational Data Analysis Research Health care costs represent a nearly 18% of U.S. gross domestic product and 20% of government spending. While there is detailed information on where these health care dollars are spent, there is much less evidence on how this spending affects health.