Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=878136
 
 

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The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Health of their Children


Orla Doyle


University College Dublin - Geary Institute

Colm P. Harmon


University of Sydney - School of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Ian Walker


University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

November 2005

CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5359

Abstract:     
This paper investigates the robustness of recent findings on the effect of parental background on child health. We are particularly concerned with the extent to which their finding that income effects on child health are the result of spurious correlation rather than some causal mechanism. A similar argument can be made for the effect of education - if parental education and child health are correlated with some common unobservable (say, low parental time preference) then least squares estimates of the effect of parental education will be biased upwards. Moreover, it is very common for parental income data to be grouped, in which case income is measured with error and the coefficient on income will be biased towards zero and there are good reasons why the extent of bias may vary with child age. Fixed effect estimation is undermined by measurement error and here we adopt the traditional solution to both spurious correlation and measurement error and use an instrumental variables approach. Our results suggest that the income effects observed in the data are spurious.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Child health, intergenerational transmission

JEL Classification: I1

working papers series


Date posted: January 24, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Doyle, Orla and Harmon, Colm P. and Walker, Ian, The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Health of their Children (November 2005). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5359. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=878136

Contact Information

Orla Doyle
University College Dublin - Geary Institute ( email )
Dublin 4, 4
Ireland
Colm P. Harmon (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - School of Economics ( email )
Rm 370 Merewether (H04)
Sydney, NSW 2006 2008
Australia
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Ian Walker
University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )
Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44 1203 523 054 (Phone)
+44 1203 523 032 (Fax)
Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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