The Impact of Low Income on Child Health: Evidence from a Birth Cohort Study

39 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Simon M. Burgess

Simon M. Burgess

University of Bristol - Department of Economics; University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

John Rigg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

There is a growing literature that shows that higher family income is associated with better health for children. Wealthier parents may have more advantaged children because they have more income to buy health care or because parental wealth is associated with beneficial behaviours or because parental health is associated with both income and children¿s health. The policy implications of these transmission mechanisms are quite different. We attempt to unpick the correlation between income and health by examining routes by which parental disadvantage is transmitted into child disadvantage. Using a UK cohort study that has rich information on mother¿s early life events, her health, her behaviours that may affect child health, and her child¿s health, we examine the impact of being in low income compared to that of mother child health related behaviours and mother¿s own health on child health. We find children from poorer households have poorer health. But we find the direct impact of income is small. A larger role is played by mother¿s own health and events in her early life. No clear role is played by mother child health production behaviours.

JEL Classification: I1

Suggested Citation

Burgess, Simon and Propper, Carol and Rigg, John, The Impact of Low Income on Child Health: Evidence from a Birth Cohort Study (May 2004). LSE STICERD Research Paper No. CASE085. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1159316

Simon Burgess

University of Bristol - Department of Economics ( email )

8 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 ITN
United Kingdom
+44 117 928 8436 (Phone)
+44 117 928 8577 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/burgess.htm

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/propper.htm

John Rigg

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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