Intergenerational Health Mobility in the Us

91 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2018 Last revised: 8 Feb 2019

See all articles by Timothy Halliday

Timothy Halliday

University of Hawaii - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Ashley Wong

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2018-01-31

Abstract

Studies of intergenerational mobility have largely ignored health despite the central importance of health to welfare. We present the first estimates of intergenerational health mobility in the US by using repeated measures of self-reported health status (SRH) during adulthood from the PSID. Our main finding is that there is substantially greater health mobility than income mobility in the US. A possible explanation is that social institutions and policies are more effective at disrupting intergenerational health transmission than income transmission. We further show that health and income each capture a distinct dimension of social mobility. We also characterize heterogeneity in health mobility by child gender, parent gender, race, education, geography and health insurance coverage in childhood. We find some important differences in the patterns of health mobility compared with income mobility and also find some evidence that there has been a notable decline in health mobility for more recent cohorts. We use a rich set of background characteristics to highlight potential mechanisms leading to intergenerational health persistence.

Keywords: Health, inequality, mobility, intergenerational

JEL Classification: I1, I14

Suggested Citation

Halliday, Timothy and Mazumder, Bhashkar and Wong, Ashley, Intergenerational Health Mobility in the Us (2018-01-31). FRB of Chicago Working Paper No. WP-2018-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3121582

Timothy Halliday (Contact Author)

University of Hawaii - Department of Economics ( email )

Honolulu, HI 96822
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

Ashley Wong

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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