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The dynamics of income and neighborhood context for population health: Do long-term measures of socioeconomic status explain more of the black/white health disparity than single-point-in-time measures?

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  • Do, D. Phuong

Abstract

Socioeconomic status, though a robust and strong predictor of health, has generally been unable to fully explain the health gap between blacks and whites in the United States. However, at both the individual and neighborhood levels, socioeconomic status is often treated as a static factor with only single-point-in-time measurements. These cross-sectional measures fail to account for possible heterogeneous histories within groups who may share similar characteristics at a given point in time. As such, ignoring the dynamic nature of socioeconomic status may lead to the underestimation of its importance in explaining health and racial health disparities. In this study, I use national longitudinal data to investigate the relationship between neighborhood poverty and respondent-rated health, focusing on whether the addition of a temporal dimension reveals a stronger relationship between neighborhood poverty and health, and a greater explanatory power for the health gap between blacks and whites. Results indicate that long-term neighborhood measures are stronger predictors of health outcomes and explain a greater amount of the black/white health gap than single-point measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Do, D. Phuong, 2009. "The dynamics of income and neighborhood context for population health: Do long-term measures of socioeconomic status explain more of the black/white health disparity than single-point-in-time measures," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1368-1375, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:68:y:2009:i:8:p:1368-1375
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark R. Rank & Thomas A. Hirschl, 2001. "Rags or Riches? Estimating the Probabilities of Poverty and Affluence across the Adult American Life Span," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 82(4), pages 651-669.
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    5. Subramanian, S.V. & Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores & Osypuk, Theresa L., 2005. "Racial residential segregation and geographic heterogeneity in black/white disparity in poor self-rated health in the US: a multilevel statistical analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 1667-1679, April.
    6. Kunz, Jim & Page, Marianne E. & Solon, Gary, 2003. "Are point-in-time measures of neighborhood characteristics useful proxies for children's long-run neighborhood environment?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 231-237, May.
    7. Emily Rosenbaum & Samantha Friedman, 2001. "Differences in the locational attainment of immigrant and native-born households with children in New York City," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(3), pages 337-348, August.
    8. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    9. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:9:1476-1483_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-429, June.
    11. Korenman, Sanders & Miller, Jane E. & Sjaastad, John E., 1995. "Long-term poverty and child development in the United States: Results from the NLSY," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 127-155.
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    Cited by:

    1. Do, D. Phuong & Watkins, Daphne C. & Hiermeyer, Martin & Finch, Brian K., 2013. "The relationship between height and neighborhood context across racial/ethnic groups: A multi-level analysis of the 1999–2004 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 30-41.
    2. Lina Hedman & David Manley & Maarten van Ham & John Östh, 2015. "Cumulative exposure to disadvantage and the intergenerational transmission of neighbourhood effects," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 195-215.
    3. Cerdá, Magdalena & Johnson-Lawrence, Vicki D. & Galea, Sandro, 2011. "Lifetime income patterns and alcohol consumption: Investigating the association between long- and short-term income trajectories and drinking," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(8), pages 1178-1185.
    4. Boen, Courtney, 2016. "The role of socioeconomic factors in Black-White health inequities across the life course: Point-in-time measures, long-term exposures, and differential health returns," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 63-76.
    5. Do, D. Phuong & Frank, Reanne & Finch, Brian Karl, 2012. "Does SES explain more of the black/white health gap than we thought? Revisiting our approach toward understanding racial disparities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(9), pages 1385-1393.
    6. Margaret Weden & Christine Peterson & Jeremy Miles & Regina Shih, 2015. "Evaluating Linearly Interpolated Intercensal Estimates of Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics of U.S. Counties and Census Tracts 2001–2009," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(4), pages 541-559, August.
    7. Lekkas, Peter & Paquet, Catherine & Howard, Natasha J. & Daniel, Mark, 2017. "Illuminating the lifecourse of place in the longitudinal study of neighbourhoods and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 239-247.
    8. repec:kap:poprpr:v:36:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11113-017-9430-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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