Education, Knowledge and the Evolution of Disparities in Health
AbstractWe study how advances in scientific knowledge affect the evolution of disparities in health. Our focus is the 1964 Surgeon General Report on Smoking and Health – the first widely publicized report of the negative effects of smoking on health. Using an historical dataset that includes the smoking habits of pregnant women 1959-1966, we find that immediately after the 1964 Report, more educated mothers immediately reduced their smoking as measured by both self-reports and serum cotinine levels, while the less educated did not, and that the relative health of their newborns likewise increased. We also find strong peer effects in the response to information: after the 1964 report, educated women surrounded by other educated women were more likely to reduce smoking relative to those surrounded by less educated women. Over time, the education gradient in both smoking and newborn health continued to increase, peaking in the 1980s and then shrinking, eventually returning to initial levels. These results can explain why in an era of great advancements in medical knowledge, health disparities may actually increase, at least initially.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15840.
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Note: CH HE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Frisvold, David & Golberstein, Ezra, 2011. "School quality and the education–health relationship: Evidence from Blacks in segregated schools," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1232-1245.
- Chatterji, P; & Joo, H; & Lahiri, K;, 2011. "Beware of Being Unaware: Racial Disparities in Chronic Illness in the US," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/11, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Price, Joseph & Price, Joshua & Simon, Kosali, 2011. "Educational gaps in medical care and health behavior: Evidence from US Natality data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 838-849, October.
- Andrew Sharpe & Alexander Murray, 2011. "State of the Evidence on Health as a Determinant of Productivity," CSLS Research Reports 2011-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
- Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2011. "Estimating the relation between health and education: What do we know and what do we need to know?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 778-791, October.
- Duha Tore Altindag & Colin Cannonier & Naci H. Mocan, 2010.
"The Impact of Education on Health Knowledge,"
NBER Working Papers
16422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pinka Chatterji & Heesoo Joo & Kajal Lahiri, 2010. "Beware of Unawareness: Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Awareness of Chronic Diseases," NBER Working Papers 16578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Frisvold & Ezra Golberstein, 2010. "The Effect of School Quality on Black-White Health Differences: Evidence from Segregated Southern Schools," Emory Economics 1013, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
- Daniela Iorio & Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, 2011. "Education, HIV Status, and Risky Sexual Behavior: How Much Does the Stage of the HIV Epidemic Matter?," Working Papers 624, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.