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Childhood Health and Differences in Late-Life Health Outcomes between England and the United States

In: Investigations in the Economics of Aging

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  • James Banks
  • Zoë Oldfield
  • James P. Smith

Abstract

In this paper we examine the link between retrospectively reported measures of childhood health and the prevalence of various major and minor diseases at older ages. Our analysis is based on comparable retrospective questionnaires placed in the Health and Retirement Study and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing – nationally representative surveys of the age 50 plus population in America and England respectively. We show that the origins of poorer adult health among older Americans compared to the English trace right back into the childhood years – the American middle and old-age population report higher rates of specific childhood health conditions than their English counterparts. The transmission into poor health in mid life and older ages of these higher rates of childhood illnesses also appears to be higher in America compared to England. Both factors contribute to higher rates of adult illness in the United States compared to England although even in combination they do not explain the full extent of the country difference in late-life health outcomes.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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This chapter was published in:

  • David A. Wise, 2012. "Investigations in the Economics of Aging," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number wise11-2.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12445.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12445

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    Cited by:
    1. Brandt, Martina & Deindl, Christian & Hank, Karsten, 2012. "Tracing the origins of successful aging: The role of childhood conditions and social inequality in explaining later life health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1418-1425.
    2. Angelini, V.; & Mierau, J.O.;, 2012. "Childhood Health and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Western Europe," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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