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Is there an Income Gradient in Child Health? It depends whom you ask

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Author Info

  • David W. Johnston
  • Carol Propper
  • Stephen E. Pudney
  • Michael A. Shields

    ()

Abstract

A large literature uses parental evaluations of child health status to provide evidence on the socioeconomic determinants of health. If how parents perceive health questions differs by income or education level, then estimates of the socioeconomic gradient are likely to be biased and potentially misleading. In this paper we examine this issue. We directly compare child mental health evaluations from parents, teachers, children and psychiatrists for mental health problems, test whether these differences are systematically related to observable child and parent characteristics, and examine the implications of the different reports for the estimated income gradient. We find that respondents frequently evaluate children differently and while the sign of the income gradient is in the same direction across respondents, systematic differences in evaluations mean that the estimated magnitude and significance of the health-income gradient is highly dependent upon the choice of respondent and the measure of child health.

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File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2010/wp232.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 10/232.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:10/232

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Keywords: Child Health; Income; Reporting Bias;

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References

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  1. Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2009. "Comparing subjective and objective measures of health: Evidence from hypertension for the income/health gradient," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 540-552, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2004. "What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Reporting Effects on the Child SES Health Gradient
    by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-06-28 00:24:00
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Cited by:
  1. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Mette Lausten & Dario Pozzoli, 2012. "Does Mother Know Best? Parental Discrepancies in Assessing Child Functioning," Economics Working Papers 2012-24, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  2. David Johnston & Carol Propper & Stephen Pudney & Michael Shields, 2011. "Child mental health and educational attainment: multiple observers and the measurement error problem," CeMMAP working papers CWP27/11, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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