A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Over the Life Cycle

71 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2015 Last revised: 11 Nov 2015

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)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 8, 2015

Abstract

Understanding of the substantial disparity in health between 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. Motivated by the observation that medical care explains only a relatively small part of the SES-health gradient, we present a life-cycle model that incorporates several additional behaviors that potentially explain (jointly) a large part of the observed disparities. In our model, choices regarding lifestyle, working conditions, labor-force participation, living conditions, and health investment, provide mechanisms through which SES, health, and longevity are related. As a result, the model provides not only a conceptual framework for the SES-health gradient but also more generally an improved framework for the production of health.

Keywords: socioeconomic status, health, human capital, health behavior

JEL Classification: D91, I10, I12, I14, J24

Suggested Citation

Galama, Titus J. and van Kippersluis, Hans, A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Over the Life Cycle (July 8, 2015). CESR-Schaeffer Working Paper No. 2015-016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2628828 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2628828

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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