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Inequality of Opportunities in Health in France: A First Pass

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  • Trannoy, Alain
  • Tubeuf, Sandy
  • Jusot, Florence
  • Devaux, Marion

Abstract

This article analyses the role played by childhood circumstances, especially social and family background in explaining health status among older adults. We explore the hypothesis of an intergenerational transmission of health inequalities using the French part of SHARE. As the impact of both social background and parents’ health on health status in adulthood represents circumstances independent of individual responsibility, this study allows us testing the existence in France of inequalities of opportunity in health related to family and social background. Empirically, our study relies on both tests of stochastic dominance at first order and multivariate regressions, supplemented by a counterfactual analysis to evaluate the long-lasting impact of childhood conditions on inequality in health. Allocating the best circumstances in both parents’ SES and parents’ health reduces inequality in health by an impressive 57% using the Gini coefficient. The mother’s social status has a direct effect on the health of her offspring. By contrast, the effect on the descendant’s health from the father’s social status is indirect only, going through the descendant’s social status as an adult. There is also a strong effect of the father vital status on health in adulthood, revealing a selection effect.

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File URL: http://basepub.dauphine.fr/xmlui/bitstream/123456789/268/2/JusotWP08_24-1.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/268.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Publication status: Published in Health Economics, 2010, Vol. 19, no. 8. pp. 921-938.Length: 17 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/268

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Web page: http://www.dauphine.fr/en/welcome.html
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Keywords: France; Economie de la santé; Seniors; Inequality in health; Intergenerational transmission;

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  1. Bourguignon, François & Ferreira, Francisco & Menéndez, Marta, 2007. "Inequality of Opportunity in Brazil," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1552, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Ahlburg, Dennis, 1998. "Intergenerational Transmission of Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 265-70, May.
  3. 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.
  4. 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..
  5. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
  6. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 209, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  7. Augustin Vicard & Andrew E. Clark, 2007. "Conditions de collecte et santé subjective : une analyse sur données européennes," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 403(1), pages 143-163.
  8. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Renault, Eric & Trognon, Alain, 1987. "Generalised residuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 5-32.
  9. 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.
  10. Grossman, Michael, 1982. "The demand for health after a decade," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-3, May.
  11. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  12. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, octubre-d.
  13. Pedro Rosa Dias & Andrew M. Jones, 2007. "Giving equality of opportunity a fair innings," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 109-112.
  14. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2004. "Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 609-628.
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