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Reconstructing childhood health histories

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  • James Smith

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Abstract

This paper provides evidence about the quality of retrospective childhood health histories given to respondents in the HRS and the PSID. Even though information on early life health events is critical, there is legitimate skepticism about the ability of older respondents to remember specific health problems that they had as a child. The evidence presented in this paper suggests that this is too negative a view. Respondents appear to remember salient childhood events about themselves such as the illnesses they had as a child quite well. Moreover, these physical and psychological childhood health events are important correlates of adult health during middle age.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1353/dem.0.0058
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Demography.

Volume (Year): 46 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 387-403

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Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:46:y:2009:i:2:p:387-403

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Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/13524

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References

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  1. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
  2. James P. Smith, 2009. "The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 478-489, August.
  3. James P. Smith & Duncan Thomas, 2004. "Remembrances of Things Past: Test-Retest Reliability of Retrospective Migration Histories," Labor and Demography 0403026, EconWPA.
  4. Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith & Arthur van Soest, 2004. "Self-reported Work Disability in the US and The Netherlands," Working Papers 206, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  5. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  6. Blackwell, Debra L. & Hayward, Mark D. & Crimmins, Eileen M., 2001. "Does childhood health affect chronic morbidity in later life?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1269-1284, April.
  7. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
  9. James P. Smith, 2005. "The Impact of SES on Health over the Life-Course," Working Papers 318, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Johnson, Rucker C. & Schoeni, Robert F. & Rogowski, Jeannette A., 2012. "Health disparities in mid-to-late life: The role of earlier life family and neighborhood socioeconomic conditions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(4), pages 625-636.
  2. Alan Fernihough & Mark E. McGovern, . "Physical Stature Decline and the Health Status of the Elderly Population in England," PGDA Working Papers 11214, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  3. Nancy Luke & Shelley Clark & Eliya Zulu, 2011. "The Relationship History Calendar: Improving the Scope and Quality of Data on Youth Sexual Behavior," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1151-1176, August.
  4. Mark E. McGovern, 2012. "Don't stress: early life conditions, hypertension and selection into associated risk factors," Working Papers 201223, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  5. Turney, Kristin, 2013. "Perceived instrumental support and children's health across the early life course," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 34-42.
  6. Mierau & Angelini, 2012. "Social and Economic Aspects of Childhood Health: Evidence from Western-Europe," Research Report 12002-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  7. Hullegie, P.G.J., 2012. "Essays on health and labor economics," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5637283, Tilburg University.
  8. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2014. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants in Six European Countries," CEI Working Paper Series 2013-08, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  9. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2011. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants," Working Papers 11-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Schröder, Mathis, 2013. "Jobless Now, Sick Later? Investigating the Long-term Consequences of Involuntary Job Loss on Health," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 5-15.
  11. Sarah Gibney & Mark E. McGovern & Erika Sabbath, 2013. "Social Relationships in Later Life: The Role of Childhood Circumstances," Working Papers 201319, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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