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Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient

  • Anne Case
  • Darren Lubotsky
  • Christina Paxson

The well-known positive association between health and income in adulthood has antecedents in childhood. Not only is children's health positively related to household income, but the relationship between household income and children's health becomes more pronounced as children age. Part of the relationship can be explained by the arrival and impact of chronic conditions. Children from lowerincome households with chronic conditions have worse health than do those from higher-income households. The adverse health effects of lower income accumulate over children's lives. Part of the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status may work through the impact of parents' income on children's health.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282802762024520
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1308-1334

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:5:p:1308-1334
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802762024520
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  1. West, Patrick, 1997. "Health inequalities in the early years: Is there equalisation in youth?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 833-858, March.
  2. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2001. "What do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," NBER Working Papers 8419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," NBER Working Papers 6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1995. "Medical Care for Children: Public Insurance, Private Insurance, and Racial Differences in Utilization," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 135-162.
  6. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 93-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
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