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Is there an income gradient in child health? It depends whom you ask

  • Johnston, David W.
  • Propper, Carol
  • Pudney, Stephen
  • Shields, Michael A.

Research on the socioeconomic determinants of health is often based on parental assessments of their children’s health. We assess this approach by comparing directly evaluations from parents, teachers, children and psychiatrists of three aspects of child mental health from two major UK surveys. We test whether the different observers give reports that are systematically related to observable child and parent characteristics and find that the differences are large and systematic. This in turn results in systematic differences in the estimated magnitude and significance of the health-income gradient, suggesting that one should be cautious in interpreting findings from the research literature.

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2010-08.

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Date of creation: 17 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2010-08
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  1. Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Comparing Subjective and Objective Measures of Health: Evidence from Hypertension for the Income/Health Gradient," IZA Discussion Papers 2737, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
  3. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2004. "What Do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
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