The Effects of Childhood Health on Adult Health and SES in China

42 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2010

See all articles by James P. Smith

James P. Smith

RAND Corporation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yan Shen

Peking University - China Center for Economic Research (CCER)

John Strauss

University of Southern California - Department of Economics

Zhe Yang

Peking University

Yaohui Zhao

Peking University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 30, 2010

Abstract

In this paper, the authors model the consequences of childhood health on adult health and socioeconomic status outcomes in China using a new sample of middle aged and older Chinese respondents. Modeled after the American Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), the CHARLS Pilot survey respondents are forty-five years and older in two quite distinct provinces - Zhejiang, a high growth industrialized province on the East Coast and Gansu, a largely agricultural and poor province in the West. Childhood health in CHARLS relies on two measures that proxy for different dimensions of health during the childhood years. The first is a retrospective self-evaluation using a standard five-point scale (excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor) of general state of one’s health when one was less than 16 years old. The second is adult height often thought to be a good measure of levels of nutrition during early childhood and the prenatal period. They relate both these childhood health measures to adult health and SES outcomes during the adult years. They find strong effects of childhood health on adult health outcomes particularly among Chinese women and strong effects on adult BMI particularly for Chinese men.

Suggested Citation

Smith, James P. and Shen, Yan and Strauss, John and Yang, Zhe and Zhao, Yaohui, The Effects of Childhood Health on Adult Health and SES in China (November 30, 2010). RAND Working Paper No. WR-809. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1719327 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1719327

James P. Smith (Contact Author)

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Yan Shen

Peking University - China Center for Economic Research (CCER) ( email )

Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

John Strauss

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

306A Kaprielian Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Zhe Yang

Peking University ( email )

No. 38 Xueyuan Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

Yaohui Zhao

Peking University ( email )

Department of Economics
Beijing 100871
China

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