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Intergenerational Health Mobility in the US

Author

Listed:
  • Timothy Halliday

    () (University of Hawaii)

  • Bhashkar Mazumder

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

  • Ashley Wong

    () (Northwestern University)

Abstract

Studies of intergenerational mobility have largely ignored health despite the central importance of health to welfare. We present the first estimates of intergenerational health mobility in the US by using repeated measures of self-reported health status (SRH) during adulthood from the PSID. Our main finding is that there is substantially greater health mobility than income mobility in the US. A possible explanation is that social institutions and policies are more effective at disrupting intergenerational health transmission than income transmission. We further show that health and income each capture a distinct dimension of social mobility. We also characterize heterogeneity in health mobility by child gender, parent gender, race, education, geography and health insurance coverage in childhood. We find some important differences in the patterns of health mobility compared with income mobility and also find some evidence that there has been a notable decline in health mobility for more recent cohorts. We use a rich set of background characteristics to highlight potential mechanisms leading to intergenerational health persistence.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Halliday & Bhashkar Mazumder & Ashley Wong, 2018. "Intergenerational Health Mobility in the US," Working Papers 2018-009, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-009
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    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Halliday_Mazumder_Wong_2018_health-mobility.pdf
    File Function: First version, January, 2018
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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.
    2. Björkegren, Evelina & Lindahl, Mikael & Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2019. "Pre- and Post-Birth Components of Intergenerational Persistence in Health and Longevity: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees," IZA Discussion Papers 12451, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Carsten Andersen, 2019. "Intergenerational Health Mobility: Evidence from Danish Registers," Economics Working Papers 2019-04, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    4. Timothy J. Halliday & Bhashkar Mazumder & Ashley Wong, 2020. "The intergenerational transmission of health in the United States: A latent variables analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 367-381, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; mobility; Inequality; health insurance; intergenerational mobility; intergenerational transmission;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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