The Intergenerational Transmission of Health in Early Childhood
AbstractThe prevalence and importance of children's physical health problems have been increasingly recognized in recent years. Physical health problems of children such as obesity, motor impairment and chronic diseases cause social costs. Further, they can lead directly to adult physical health problems, which cause additional social costs. This paper examines the intergenerational link and transmission of both maternal and paternal health on children's health in Germany. We investigate this issue using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), making particular use of the mother and child questionnaires. These data allow us to capture a broad set of health measures: anthropometric, self-rated health and "more objective" health measures. The results indicate significant relationships between parental and child health in the first and third year of life. In order to take into account the endogeneity of parental health, we estimate fixed effect models. Overall, we find, controlling for parental income, education and family composition, that parents who experience poor health have children with significantly poorer health. For example, the father's body mass index (BMI) is a predictor for their children's BMI. Mothers who consider their health as good, have also healthier children. --
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-073.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Intergenerational transmission; child health; parental health; early childhood;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-03 (All new papers)
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