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Health Supplier Quality and the Distribution of Child Health


  • Simon Burgess
  • Carol Propper
  • John A. Rigg


There is emerging evidence to suggest that initial differentials between the health of poor and more affluent children in the UK do not widen over early childhood. One reason may be that through the universal public funded health care system all children have access to equally effective primary care providers. This paper examines this explanation. The analysis has two components. It first examines whether children from poorer families have access to general practitioners of a similar quality to children from richer families. It then examines whether the quality of primary care to which a child has access has an impact on their health at birth and on their health during early childhood. The results suggest that children from poor families do not have access to markedly worse quality primary care, and further, that the quality of primary care does not appear to have a large effect on differentials in child health in early childhood.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:102

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & John A. Rigg, 2004. "The Impact of Low Income on Child Health: Evidence from a Birth Cohort Study," CASE Papers 085, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    2. Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson, 2003. "The Use and Usefulness of Performance Measures in the Public Sector," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 250-267, Summer.
    3. Starfield, Barbara & Shi, Leiyu, 2002. "Policy relevant determinants of health: an international perspective," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 201-218, June.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:8:1246-1250_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2004. "Is the Child Health / Family Income Gradient Universal? Evidence from England," IZA Discussion Papers 1328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    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. West, Patrick, 1997. "Health inequalities in the early years: Is there equalisation in youth?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 833-858, March.
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    More about this item


    primary care quality; child health;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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