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The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes

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  • James P. Smith

    (RAND Corporation)

Abstract

This paper examines impacts of childhood health on socioeconomic status (SES) outcomes observed during adulthood: levels and trajectories of education, family income, household wealth, individual earnings, and labor supply. The analysis is conducted using panel data that collect these SES measures using a sample who were originally children and are now well into their adult years. Since all siblings are in the panel, unmeasured family and neighborhood background effects can be controlled for. With the exception of education, poor childhood health has a quantitatively large effect on all of these outcomes. Moreover, these estimated effects are larger when unobserved family effects are controlled. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • James P. Smith, 2009. "The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 478-489, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:91:y:2009:i:3:p:478-489
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    3. Philip Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie L. Roos, 2008. "Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis Using Siblings and Twins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    4. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
    5. Bound, John & Solon, Gary, 1999. "Double trouble: on the value of twins-based estimation of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 169-182, April.
    6. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Smith, James P, 1998. "Socioeconomic Status and Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 192-196, May.
    10. Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith & Arthur van Soest, 2005. "Self-reported Work Disability in the US and The Netherlands," Labor and Demography 0504006, EconWPA.
    11. 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.
    12. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General

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