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

Author

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  • Anne Case
  • Darren Lubotsky
  • Christina Paxson

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:5:p:1308-1334
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802762024520
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
    3. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical Care, and Child Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 431-466.
    4. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2004. "What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    5. 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.
    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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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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