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Optimal indicators of socioeconomic status for health research

  • Mary C. Daly
  • Peggy McDonough
  • Greg J. Duncan
  • David Williams

Objectives: This paper examines the relationship between various measures of SES and mortality for a representative sample of individuals. ; Methods: Data are from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Sample includes 3,734 individuals aged 45 and above who participated in the 1984 interview. Mortality was tracked between 1984 and 1994 and is related to SES indicators using Cox event-history regression models. ; Results: Wealth has the strongest associations with subsequent mortality, and these associations differ little by age and sex. Other economic measures, especially family-size-adjusted household income, have significant associations with mortality, particularly for nonelderly women. ; Conclusions: By and large, the economic components of SES have associations with mortality that are at least as strong as, and often stronger than, more conventional components (e.g., completed schooling, occupation).

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory with number 99-03.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfap:99-03
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  1. James Smith & Raynard Kington, 1997. "Demographic and economic correlates of health in old age," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 159-170, February.
  2. John Fitzgerald & Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1998. "An Analysis of Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 251-299.
  3. Lahelma, Eero & Valkonen, Tapani, 1990. "Health and social inequities in Finland and elsewhere," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 257-265, January.
  4. Harriet Duleep, 1989. "Measuring socioeconomic mortality differentials over time," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 345-351, May.
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