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Re-Constructing Childhood Health Histories

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  • James P. Smith

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Abstract

This paper provides evidence about the quality of retrospective childhood health histories given to respondents in the Health and Retirement Survey and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Even though information on early life health events is critical, there is legitimate skepticism about the ability of older respondents to remember specific health problems that they had as a child. The evidence presented in this paper suggests that this is too negative a view. Respondents appear to remember salient childhood events about themselves such as the illnesses they had as a child quite well. Moreover, these physical and psychological childhood health events are important correlates of adult health during middle age.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 666.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:666

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  1. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2004. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 10552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith & Arthur van Soest, 2004. "Self-reported Work Disability in the US and The Netherlands," Working Papers 206, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  3. James P. Smith, 2005. "The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 319, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  4. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
  5. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James P. Smith, 2005. "The Impact Of Ses On Health Over The Life-Course," Labor and Demography 0511002, EconWPA.
  7. James P. Smith & Duncan Thomas, 2004. "Remembrances of Things Past: Test-Retest Reliability of Retrospective Migration Histories," Labor and Demography 0403026, EconWPA.
  8. Blackwell, Debra L. & Hayward, Mark D. & Crimmins, Eileen M., 2001. "Does childhood health affect chronic morbidity in later life?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1269-1284, April.
  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.
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Cited by:
  1. Alan Fernihough & Mark E. McGovern, 2013. "A Tall Story: Characteristics, Causes, and Consequences of Stature Loss," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp429, IIIS.
  2. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 25-42.
  3. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2014. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants in Six European Countries," CEI Working Paper Series 2013-08, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Mark E McGovern, 2012. "Don't Stress: Early Life Conditions, Hypertension, and Selection into Associated Risk Factors," Working Papers 201227, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. Gabor Kertesi & Gabor Kezdi, 2014. "On the test score gap between Roma and non-Roma students in Hungary and its potential causes," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1401, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  6. Turney, Kristin, 2013. "Perceived instrumental support and children's health across the early life course," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 34-42.
  7. Johnson, Rucker C. & Schoeni, Robert F. & Rogowski, Jeannette A., 2012. "Health disparities in mid-to-late life: The role of earlier life family and neighborhood socioeconomic conditions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(4), pages 625-636.
  8. Sarah Gibney & Mark E. McGovern & Erika Sabbath, 2013. "Social Relationships in Later Life: The Role of Childhood Circumstances," Working Papers 201319, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  9. Jennifer Montez & Mark Hayward, 2014. "Cumulative Childhood Adversity, Educational Attainment, and Active Life Expectancy Among U.S. Adults," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 413-435, April.
  10. Schröder, Mathis, 2013. "Jobless Now, Sick Later? Investigating the Long-term Consequences of Involuntary Job Loss on Health," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 5-15.
  11. Nancy Luke & Shelley Clark & Eliya Zulu, 2011. "The Relationship History Calendar: Improving the Scope and Quality of Data on Youth Sexual Behavior," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1151-1176, August.
  12. Cavaco, Sandra & Eriksson, Tor & Skalli, Ali, 2011. "Life Cycle Development of Obesity and Its Determinants," Working Papers 11-7, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  13. Kertesi, Gábor & Kézdi, Gábor, 2012. "A roma és nem roma tanulók teszteredményei közti különbségekről és e különbségek okairól
    [The Roma/non-Roma test-score gap in Hungarian education]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 798-853.
  14. Angelini, V.; & Mierau, J.O.;, 2012. "Childhood Health and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Western Europe," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  15. Hullegie, P.G.J., 2012. "Essays on health and labor economics," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5637283, Tilburg University.

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