Understanding the Relationship between Parental Income and Multiple Child Outcomes: A Decomposition Analysis

57 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Paul Gregg

Paul Gregg

University of Bath - Department of Social and Policy Sciences

Carol Propper

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

Elizabeth Washbrook

University of Bristol

Date Written: December 2007

Abstract

In this paper we explore the association between family income and children's cognitive ability (IQ and school performance), socio-emotional outcomes (self esteem, locus of control and behavioural problems) and physical health (risk of obesity). We develop a decomposition technique that allows us to compare the relative importance of the adverse family characteristics and home environments of low income children in accounting for different outcomes. Using rich cohort data from the UK we find that poor children are disadvantaged at age 7 to 9 across the full spectrum of outcomes, the gradient being strongest for cognitive outcomes and weakest for physical health. We find that some aspects of environment appear to be associated with the full range of outcomes - for example, maternal smoking and breastfeeding, child nutrition, parental psychological functioning. We also find some some aspects of the environment of higher income households hinder child development. We conclude that many aspects of growing up in poverty are harmful to children's development, and that narrowly-targeted interventions are unlikely to have a significant impact on intergenerational mobility.

JEL Classification: I32, J13

Suggested Citation

Gregg, Paul and Propper, Carol and Washbrook, Elizabeth, Understanding the Relationship between Parental Income and Multiple Child Outcomes: A Decomposition Analysis (December 2007). LSE STICERD Research Paper No. CASE129. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1159360

Paul Gregg (Contact Author)

University of Bath - Department of Social and Policy Sciences ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA7 2AY
United Kingdom

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

Elizabeth Washbrook

University of Bristol

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
193
Abstract Views
1,018
rank
160,498
PlumX Metrics