A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Over the Life Cycle

50 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2010 Last revised: 20 Aug 2010

See all articles by Titus J. Galama

Titus J. Galama

USC Center for Economic and Social Research

Hans van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

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Date Written: July 16, 2010

Abstract

Understanding of the substantial disparity in health between low and high socioeconomic status (SES) groups is hampered by the lack of a sufficiently comprehensive theoretical framework to interpret empirical facts and to predict yet untested relations. The authors present a life-cycle model that incorporates multiple mechanisms explaining (jointly) a large part of the observed disparities in health by SES. In their model, lifestyle factors, working conditions, retirement, living conditions and curative care are mechanisms through which SES, health and mortality are related. Their model predicts a widening and possibly a subsequent narrowing with age of the gradient in health by SES.

Keywords: socioeconomic status, education, health, demand for health, health capital, medical care, life cycle, age, labor, retirement, mortality

JEL Classification: D91, I10, I12, J00, J24

Suggested Citation

Galama, Titus J. and van Kippersluis, Hans, A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Over the Life Cycle (July 16, 2010). RAND Working Paper No. WR-773, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1659905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1659905

Titus J. Galama (Contact Author)

USC Center for Economic and Social Research ( email )

Playa Vista, CA
United States
+310 430 6358 (Phone)

Hans Van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

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