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Le gradient santé / revenu familial des nouveau-nés québécois de 1998 après quatre ans : faible ou inexistant?

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  • Lefebvre, Pierre

    (Département de sciences économiques)

Abstract

The pervasive positive association (gradient) between good health in adulthood and socio-economic status (SES)–measured in particular by income, education or employment–has been widely documented in the health research literature. In an influential study, based on American data, Case et al. (2002) document the fact that differences in health across poorer and wealthier individuals begin very early in childhood and become more pronounced as children age. This paper analyses the relation between family income and a general health status measure for a representative sample of newborns of Québec. Approximately 2,000 Québec children were followed and their families interviewed each year since 1998 when the children were aged 5, 17, 28, 41 and 50 months in 2002. The results for each of the 5 years indicate that there is a consistent but weak family income gradient in child health. However, its size is small and no evidence was found that its slope increases with child age. On the other hand, chronic health problem affect child health status that income cannot easily counter. The results suggest that if childhood health is a contributor to the ‘gradient’, the action may happen after the first five years. La relation (le « gradient ») entre l’indice de santé des adultes et leur statut socio-économique (SSE) - mesuré notamment par le revenu, l’éducation et l’emploi – est un des constats les plus robustes des recherches en santé. Dans une étude marquante appuyée sur des données américaines, Case et alii (2002) montrent que la santé des jeunes enfants est non seulement liée positivement avec le revenu familial mais que la relation est plus prononcée avec l’âge. Ce travail analyse la relation entre le revenu familial et les états de santé d’un échantillon représentatif d’environ 2 000 nouveau-nés du Québec, suivis annuellement depuis l’âge de 5 mois (en 1998) jusqu’à l’âge d’environ 50 mois (en 2002). Les résultats pour chacun des cinq cycles de l’enquête indiquent la présence d’un lien positif mais très faible entre le niveau de santé des enfants et le revenu familial. La relation est instable dans le temps et semble jouer seulement au-delà de certains seuils de revenu. Cependant, les problèmes de santé chroniques ont un effet important sur l’indice de santé des enfants que le revenu familial parvient mal à contrer. À l’égard du gradient de santé des enfants et ses répercussions, les résultats suggèrent que tout se joue plutôt après cinq ans.

Suggested Citation

  • Lefebvre, Pierre, 2006. "Le gradient santé / revenu familial des nouveau-nés québécois de 1998 après quatre ans : faible ou inexistant?," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 82(4), pages 523-595, décembre.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:82:y:2006:i:4:p:523-595
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    References listed on IDEAS

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