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Consequences and Predictors of New Health Events

In: Analyses in the Economics of Aging

  • James Smith

There is renewed interest in why people of lower socio-economic status (SES) have worse health outcomes. No matter which measures of SES are used (income, wealth, or education), the evidence that this association is large is abundant (Marmot (1999), Smith (1999)). The relation between SES and health appears also to be pervasive over time and across countries at quite different levels of economic development (Kitagawa and Hauser (1973), Townsend et al. (1988)). Considerable debate remains about why the relation arises and what the principal directions of causation might be ((Smith (1999), Adams et al. (2003), Deaton (2003)). However, many analytical difficulties exist when one tries to understand its meaning. These difficulties include the complex dimensionality of health status that produces considerable heterogeneity in health outcomes, the two-way interaction between health and economic status, and the separation of anticipated from unanticipated health or economic shocks.

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This chapter was published in:
  • David A. Wise, 2005. "Analyses in the Economics of Aging," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number wise05-1, May.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10362.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10362
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


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    1. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 270, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    2. Smith, J-P & Kington, R, 1997. "Demographic and Economic Correlates of Health in Old Age," Papers 97-06, RAND - Reprint Series.
    3. James P. Smith, 2004. "Why is Wealth Inequality Rising?," Macroeconomics 0402012, EconWPA.
    4. Adams, Peter & Hurd, Michael D. & McFadden, Daniel & Merrill, Angela & Ribeiro, Tiago, 2003. "Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Tests for direct causal paths between health and socioeconomic status," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 3-56, January.
    5. Dana P. Goldman & James P. Smith, 2004. "Can Patient Self-Management Help Explain the SES Health Gradient?," HEW 0403004, EconWPA.
    6. 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.
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