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The intergenerational transmission of health in early childhood—Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study

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  • Coneus, Katja
  • Spiess, C. Katharina
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    Abstract

    Children's physical health problems have clear and lasting impacts on a variety of later life outcomes, as a growing body of research has shown. Furthermore, problems such as obesity, motor impairment, and chronic diseases entail high social costs, particularly when childhood health problems carry over into adulthood. This study examines intergenerational relationships between parent and child health based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), in particular the recently introduced Mother and Child Questionnaires. Using various health measures, including anthropometric measures, information on health disorders, and “self-rated” health measures, we find significant relationships between parental and child health during the first three years of life. Overall, our results suggest that when controlling for parental income, education, and family composition, parents with poor health are more likely to have children with poor health. However, there are significant differences between health measures and age groups. For some health measures, our results suggest an increasing health gradient by age.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 89-97

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:1:p:89-97

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

    Related research

    Keywords: Intergenerational transmission; Child health; Parental health; Early childhood;

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    References

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    1. Bereket Kebede, 2003. "Genetic Endowments, Parental and Child Health in Rural Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2003-10, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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    13. Osmani, Siddiq & Sen, Amartya, 2003. "The hidden penalties of gender inequality: fetal origins of ill-health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 105-121, January.
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    16. Strauss, J & Thomas, D, 1996. "Measurment and Mismeasurement of Social Indicators," Papers 96-15, RAND - Reprint Series.
    17. Bruce Sacerdote, 2007. "How Large Are the Effects from Changes in Family Environment? A Study of Korean American Adoptees," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 119-157, 02.
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    Cited by:
    1. Batscheider, Ariane & Rzehak, Peter & Teuner, Christina M. & Wolfenstetter, Silke B. & Leidl, Reiner & von Berg, Andrea & Berdel, Dietrich & Hoffmann, Barbara & Heinrich, Joachim, 2014. "Development of BMI values of German children and their healthcare costs," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 56-66.
    2. Bauldry, Shawn & Shanahan, Michael J. & Boardman, Jason D. & Miech, Richard A. & Macmillan, Ross, 2012. "A life course model of self-rated health through adolescence and young adulthood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1311-1320.
    3. Kemptner, Daniel & Marcus, Jan, 2013. "Spillover Effects of Maternal Education on Child's Health and Health Behavior," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 29-54.

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