Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Gender and Life-Cycle Differentials in the Patterns and Determinants of Adult Health


Author Info

  • John Strauss
  • Paul J. Gertler
  • Omar Rahman
  • Kristin Fox


This study investigates the socioeconomic determinants of adult ill-health in developing countries. We use as measures of health, self-reported general health plus a variety of measures of problems in physical functioning. We begin by comparing measures of adult ill-health in four countries: Bangladesh, Jamaica, Malaysia, and the United States, finding that women report more problems and at earlier ages than do men; this despite the greater longevity of women. We examine the sensitivity of these gender differentials to mortality selection and find that while accounting for this does cut down the differentials, they remain. We discuss potential reasons for these findings and then examine the Jamaican data in more detail. We formulate and estimate a reduced form economic model, focusing on the effects of education. We find strong positive effects of own education on health, mirroring results commonly found in the child health literature. At older ages, however, the education differential disappears. Per capita household expenditure, treated as endogenous, is added to the model to attempt to control for long-run income. It is not found to affect adult female health, but limited evidence is found for an effect on males. Strong residential effects exist, although the factors behind them remain to be investigated. Our most robust finding is that even controlling for socioeconomic covariates, strong life-cycle effects exist and are different for men and women. Controlling for these factors, women still report more health problems at earlier ages than do men.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: A subscripton is required to access pdf files. Pay per article is available.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 28 (1993)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 791-837

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:28:y:1993:i:4:p:791-837

Contact details of provider:
Web page:

Related research



No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:28:y:1993:i:4:p:791-837. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.