Understanding Socio-Economic Inequalities in Childhood Respiratory Health

34 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Carol Propper

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: March 2006

Abstract

Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Recent evidence has shown a socio-economic gradient in its distribution. This paper examines whether a number of factors argued to have led to a rise in the incidence of asthma might also explain the social gradient. Several of these have been the object of policy intervention, though not necessarily with the aim of lowering childhood respiratory conditions. Using a large cohort study (the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) we find significant inequalities in three respiratory conditions in middle childhood. We investigate eight potential mediating factors: exposure to other children in infancy, child's diet, poor housing conditions, maternal smoking, parental history of asthma, poor child health at birth, maternal age at child's birth and local deprivation. We find that each of these alone typically explains a relatively modest part of each respiratory inequality, with child's diet, local deprivation and maternal smoking generally the most important. But taken together, the mediating factors account for a substantial part of the respiratory inequalities. So the socio-economic gradient appears to operate through a number of inter-correlated pathways, some of which may be amenable to policy intervention.

JEL Classification: I1

Suggested Citation

Propper, Carol and Rigg, John, Understanding Socio-Economic Inequalities in Childhood Respiratory Health (March 2006). LSE STICERD Research Paper No. CASE109. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1159340

Carol Propper (Contact Author)

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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