Childhood economic conditions and length of life: Evidence from the UK Boyd Orr cohort, 1937-2005
We study the importance of childhood socioeconomic conditions in predicting differences in life expectancy using data from a large sample of children collected in 16 locations in England and Scotland in 1937-39, who have been traced through official death records up to 2005. We estimate a number of duration of life models that control for unobserved family heterogeneity. Our results confirm that childhood conditions such as household income and the quality of the home environment are significant predictors of longevity. Importantly, however, the role of socioeconomic status appears to differ across cause of death, with household income being a significant predictor of death from smoking-related cancer. Moreover, we find that (1) poor housing conditions in childhood is associated with reduced longevity, that (2) early doctor-assessed childhood health conditions significantly predict a reduced length of life, that (3) children born in a location with relatively high infant mortality rates live significantly fewer years, and that (4) there is a high correlation in longevity across children from the same family across all causes of death. We estimate that the difference in life expectancy between those with the 'best' and 'worst' observable characteristics is about 9 years, which increases to 20 years when we take into account the 'best' and 'worst' observable and unobservable household characteristics.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alison Booth & Hiau Kee, 2009.
"Birth order matters: the effect of family size and birth order on educational attainment,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 367-397, April.
- Alison Booth & Hiau Joo Kee, 2005. "Birth Order Matters: The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Educational Attainment," CEPR Discussion Papers 506, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
- Booth, Alison L & Kee, Hiau Joo, 2006. "Birth Order Matters: The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Educational Attainment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Booth, Alison L. & Kee, Hiau Joo, 2005. "Birth Order Matters: The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Educational Attainment," IZA Discussion Papers 1713, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2007.
"Child mortality, income and adult height,"
162, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Carlos Bozzoli & Angus S. Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2007. "Child Mortality, Income and Adult Height," NBER Working Papers 12966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carlos Bozzoli & Angus Deaton & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2007. "Child mortality, income and adult height," Working Papers 230, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
- Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004.
"The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance,"
246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
- 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.
- Bailey, Roy E & Hatton, Timothy J., 1999.
"Seebohm Rowntree and the Post-War Poverty Puzzle,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2147, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jenifer Hamil-Luker & Angela O’rand, 2007. "Gender differences in the link between childhood socioeconomic conditions and heart attack risk in adulthood," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 137-158, February.
- Modin, Bitte, 2002. "Birth order and mortality: a life-long follow-up of 14,200 boys and girls born in early 20th century Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1051-1064, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:29:y:2010:i:1:p:39-47. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.