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The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Health of their Children

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Author Info

  • Doyle, Orla

    ()
    (University College Dublin)

  • Harmon, Colm P.

    ()
    (University of Sydney)

  • Walker, Ian

    ()
    (Lancaster University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the robustness of recent findings on the effect of parental background on child health. We are particularly concerned with the extent to which their finding that income effects on child health are the result of spurious correlation rather than some causal mechanism. A similar argument can be made for the effect of education - if parental education and child health are correlated with some common unobservable (say, low parental time preference) then least squares estimates of the effect of parental education will be biased upwards. Moreover, it is very common for parental income data to be grouped, in which case income is measured with error and the coefficient on income will be biased towards zero and there are good reasons why the extent of bias may vary with child age. Fixed effect estimation is undermined by measurement error and here we adopt the traditional solution to both spurious correlation and measurement error and use an instrumental variables approach. Our results suggest that the income effects observed in the data are spurious.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1832.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1832

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Keywords: intergenerational transmission; child health;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Doyle, Orla & Harmon, Colm P. & Walker, Ian, 2005. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Health of their Children," IZA Discussion Papers 1832, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Lindeboom, Maarten & Llena-Nozal, Ana & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2006. "Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Schooling Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 2516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Magda, Iga & Bukowski, Maciej & Buchholz, Sonia & Lewandowski, Piotr & Chrostek, Paweł & Kamińska, Agnieszka & Lis, Maciej & Potoczna, Monika & Myck, Michał & Kundera, Michał & Oczkowska, Monika, 2013. "Employment in Poland 2011 - Poverty and jobs," MPRA Paper 50185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Nils Braakmann, 2010. "The causal relationship between education, health and health related behaviour: Evidence from a natural experiment in England," Working Paper Series in Economics 190, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  5. V. Albouy & L. Lequien, 2007. "Education and health," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2007-02, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  6. Eriksson, Tor & Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn, 2005. "Earnings persistence across generations: Transmission through health?," Memorandum 35/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  7. Albouy, Valerie & Lequien, Laurent, 2009. "Does compulsory education lower mortality?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 155-168, January.
  8. Orla Doyle & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 2007. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on Child Health. Further Evidence for England," Working Papers 200706, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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