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The Impact of Low-Income on Child Health: Evidence from a Birth Cohort Study

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  • Simon Burgess
  • Carol Propper
  • John Rigg

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Abstract

There is a growing literature that shows that higher family income is associated with better health for children. Wealthier parents may have more advantaged children because they have more income to buy health care or because parental wealth is associated with beneficial behaviours or because parental health is associated with both income and children's health. The policy implications of these transmission mechanisms are quite different. We attempt to unpick the correlation between income and health by examining routes by which parental disadvantage is transmitted into child disadvantage. Using a UK cohort study that has rich information on mother's early life events, her health, her behaviours that may affect child health, and her child's health, we examine the impact of being in low income compared to that of mother child health related behaviours and mother's own health on child health. We find children from poorer households have poorer health. But we find the direct impact of income is small. A larger role is played by mother's own health and events in her early life. No clear role is played by mother child health production behaviours.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & John Rigg, 2004. "The Impact of Low-Income on Child Health: Evidence from a Birth Cohort Study," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/098, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:04/098
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jake Anders, 2012. "Using the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England for research into Higher Education access," DoQSS Working Papers 12-13, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    2. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Jenny Williams, 2011. "Quantifying the cost of passive smoking on child health: evidence from children's cotinine samples," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(1), pages 195-212, January.
    3. Apouey, Bénédicte & Geoffard, Pierre-Yves, 2013. "Family income and child health in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 715-727.
    4. Kaushal, Neeraj & Nepomnyaschy, Lenna, 2009. "Wealth, race/ethnicity, and children's educational outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 963-971, September.
    5. Pedro Rosa Dias, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in health: evidence from a UK cohort study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(9), pages 1057-1074.
    6. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & John A. Rigg, 2005. "Health Supplier Quality and the Distribution of Child Health," CASE Papers 102, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    7. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 2007. "The child health/family income gradient: Evidence from England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 213-232, March.
    8. Borgonovi, Francesca, 2010. "A life-cycle approach to the analysis of the relationship between social capital and health in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(11), pages 1927-1934, December.
    9. Carol Propper & John Rigg & Simon Burgess, 2007. "Child health: evidence on the roles of family income and maternal mental health from a UK birth cohort," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1245-1269.
    10. Tunstall, Helena & Pickett, Kate & Johnsen, Sarah, 2010. "Residential mobility in the UK during pregnancy and infancy: Are pregnant women, new mothers and infants 'unhealthy migrants'?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(4), pages 786-798, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child health; income; maternal health; transmission mechanisms;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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