Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient

52 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2001 Last revised: 24 Jul 2001

See all articles by Anne Case

Anne Case

Princeton University - Research Program in Development Studies; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Darren H. Lubotsky

University of Illinois at Chicago

Christina H. Paxson

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2001

Abstract

We show that the well-known positive association between health and income in adulthood has antecedents in childhood. Using the National Health Interview Surveys, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we find that children's health is positively related to household income. The relationship between household income and children's health status becomes more pronounced as children grow older. A large component of the relationship between income and children's health can be explained by the arrival and impact of chronic health conditions in childhood. Children from lower-income households with chronic health conditions have worse health than do children from higher-income households. Further, we find that children's health is closely associated with long-run average household income, and that the adverse health effects of lower permanent income accumulate over children's lives. Part of the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status may work through the impact of parents' long run average income on children's health.

Suggested Citation

Case, Anne and Lubotsky, Darren H. and Paxson, Christina H., Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient (June 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8344. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=274554

Anne Case (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Research Program in Development Studies ( email )

Woodrow Wilson School
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Darren H. Lubotsky

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://lubotsky.people.uic.edu/

Christina H. Paxson

Princeton University ( email )

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Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-6474 (Phone)
609-258-5974 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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United States

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