In Search of China's Income-Health Gradient: A Biomarker-Based Analysis

33 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Peng Nie

Peng Nie

University of Hohenheim

Qing Li

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Alfonso Sousa-Poza

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Household and Consumer Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

Using data from the 2009 China Health and Nutrition Survey, this study investigates China's income-health gradient by analyzing the effect of both current and long-term household income on 22 blood-based biomarkers, 4 used as individual variables and all 22 assessed as a composite. After applying a two-step residual inclusion estimator, we find limited evidence of an income-health gradient irrespective of whether the income measure is current or long term. Because risky behavior may attenuate income's positive effects on health, we also analyze the association between income and such health-influencing factors as alcohol consumption, smoking, diet, physical activity, and dietary knowledge.Although we find that higher incomes go hand-in-hand with some of these factors (in particular, a higher number of cigarettes smoked per day), they also promote poorer diets (higher consumption of fats and calories). However, the fact that these effects are small, dependent on income measure, and susceptible to reporting biases makes it unlikely that they are attenuating income's potentially positive effects on health.

Keywords: biomarkers, income-health gradient, China

JEL Classification: I12, I14, I15

Suggested Citation

Nie, Peng and Li, Qing and Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, In Search of China's Income-Health Gradient: A Biomarker-Based Analysis (February 2019). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12165, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390152

Peng Nie

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Qing Li

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Alfonso Sousa-Poza (Contact Author)

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Household and Consumer Economics ( email )

Fruwirthstrasse 48
Kavaliershaus 4 116
70599 Stuttgart
Germany
++49 (0)711/459-22863 (Phone)
++49 (0)711/459-23953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-hohenheim.de/hhoek/englisch/people/alfonsosousapoza/index.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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