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The Dynamics of Income-related Health Inequality among US Children

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  • Pinka Chatterji
  • Kajal Lahiri
  • Jingya Song

Abstract

We estimate and decompose family income-related inequality in child health in the US and analyze its dynamics using the income-related health mobility index recently introduced byAllanson et al., 2010. Data come from the 1997, 2002, and 2007 waves of the Child Development Supplement (CDS) of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The findings show that family income-related child health inequality remains stable from early childhood into adolescence. The main factor underlying income-related child health inequality is family income itself, although other factors, such as maternal education, also play a role. Decomposition of income-related health mobility indicates that health changes over time are more favorable to children with lower initial family incomes vs. children with higher initial family incomes. However, offsetting this effect, our findings also suggest that as children grow up, changes in family income ranking over time are related to children’s subsequent health status.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3572.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3572

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Keywords: inequality; child health; income-related health inequality; income-related health mobility; health inequality;

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References

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  1. Murasko, Jason E., 2008. "An evaluation of the age-profile in the relationship between household income and the health of children in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1489-1502, December.
  2. Allanson, Paul & Petrie, Dennis & Gerdtham, Ulf-G, 2008. "Longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequality," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-38, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  3. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman & Andrew M. Jones, 2004. "Explaining income-related inequalities in doctor utilisation in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 629-647.
  4. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
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  7. 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.
  8. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic status and health in childhood: the origins of the gradient," Working Papers 262, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  10. Wagstaff, Adam & Van Doorslaer, Eddy & Watanabe, Naoko, 2001. "On decomposing the causes of health sector inequalities with an application to malnutrition inequalities in Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2714, The World Bank.
  11. Doorslaer, Eddy van & Jones, Andrew M., 2003. "Inequalities in self-reported health: validation of a new approach to measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-87, January.
  12. Allanson, Paul, 2010. "Longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequality: welfare foundations and alternative measures," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-71, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  13. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
  14. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
  15. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 2007. "The child health/family income gradient: Evidence from England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 213-232, March.
  16. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & van der Burg, Hattem & Christiansen, Terkel & De Graeve, Diana & Duchesne, Inge & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna, 2000. "Equity in the delivery of health care in Europe and the US," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 553-583, September.
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