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The Intergenerational Transmission of Health in the United States: A Latent Variables Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Ashley Wong

    () (Northwestern University)

  • Bhashkar Mazumder

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

  • Timothy J Halliday

    () (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Abstract

Social scientists have long documented that many components of socioeconomic status such as income and education have strong ties across generations. However, health status, arguably a more critical component of welfare, has largely been ignored. We fill this void by providing the first estimates of the Intergenerational Health Association (IHA) that are explicitly based on a non-linear latent variable model. Adjusting for only age and gender, we estimate an IHA of 0.3 indicating that about one third of a parent's health status gets transmitted to their children. Once we add additional mediators to the model, we show that education, and particularly children's education, is an important transmission channel in that it reduces the IHA by one third. Finally, we show that estimates of the IHA from non-linear models are only moderately higher than those from linear models, while rank-based mobility estimates are identical.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashley Wong & Bhashkar Mazumder & Timothy J Halliday, 2019. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Health in the United States: A Latent Variables Analysis," Working Papers 201903, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:201903
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    File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_19-03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    6. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Fortunate Sons: New Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Using Social Security Earnings Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 235-255, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jason Fletcher & Katie M. Jajtner, 2019. "Intergenerational Health Mobility: Magnitudes and Importance of Schools and Place," NBER Working Papers 26442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; Mobility; Latent Variable; Inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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