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La santé des seniors selon leur origine sociale et la longévité de leurs parents




This article analyses the role played by childhood circumstances, especially social and family background in explaining health status in adulthood. The influence of social and health characteristics is also considered, whereby characteristics in a generation impacts the health status in the following generation, in spite of evidence showing that this happens in different ways. In this study, we particularly explore the hypothesis of an intergenerational transmission of health inequalities using a survey conducted on a general population. Since the impact of both social background and parents’ health on health status in adulthood represent circumstances independent of individual responsibility, this study allows us to test for the existence in France of inequalities of opportunity in health related to families and social determinism. Empirically, our study relies on tests of stochastic dominance at first order that are supplemented by a multivariate regression analysis. This analysis shows inequalities of opportunity in health in adulthood according to social background and parents’ longevity. We obtained different results from the two parents. The mother’s social status has a direct effect on the health of her offspring. By contrast, the effect on the descendant’s health from the father’s social status is indirect only, going through the descendant’s social status as an adult. Furthermore, there is a direct effect of each parent’s relative longevity on health in adulthood.

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Devaux & Florence Jusot & Alain Trannoy & Sandy Tubeuf, 2008. "La santé des seniors selon leur origine sociale et la longévité de leurs parents," IDEP Working Papers 0803, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised Jun 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:iep:wpidep:0803

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-620, September.
    2. Verbeek, Marno & Nijman, Theo, 1992. "Testing for Selectivity Bias in Panel Data Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 681-703, August.
    3. Bolduc, Denis & Fortin, Bernard & Fournier, Marc-Andre, 1996. "The Effect of Incentive Policies on the Practice Location of Doctors: A Multinomial Probit Analysis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 703-732, October.
    4. Thomas G. McGuire & Mark V. Pauly, 1991. "Physician Response to Fee Changes with Multiple Payers," Papers 0015, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
    5. Eric Delattre & Brigitte Dormont, 2003. "Fixed fees and physician-induced demand: A panel data study on French physicians," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(9), pages 741-754.
    6. Russell Davidson & Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1435-1464, November.
    7. Rizzo, John A. & Zeckhauser, Richard J., 2007. "Pushing incomes to reference points: Why do male doctors earn more?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 514-536, July.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6891 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Milton Friedman & Simon Kuznets, 1954. "Income from Independent Professional Practice," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie54-1, January.
    10. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy & Louis-André Vallet, 2004. "Le revenu selon l'origine sociale ; suivi d'un commentaire de Louis-André Vallet," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 371(1), pages 49-88.
    11. McGuire, Thomas G., 2000. "Physician agency," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 461-536 Elsevier.
    12. Edward P. Lazear & Robert L. Moore, 1984. "Incentives, Productivity, and Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 275-296.
    13. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1992. "Testing for selectivity in panel data models," Other publications TiSEM 7ec34a6c-1d84-4052-971c-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    14. Brigitte Dormont & Anne-Laure Samson, 2007. "Intergenerational inequalities in GPs' earnings : experience, time and cohort effects," Working Papers 0704, University of Lausanne, Institute of Health Economics and Management (IEMS).
    15. McGuire, Thomas G. & Pauly, Mark V., 1991. "Physician response to fee changes with multiple payers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 385-410.
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    Cited by:

    1. Florence Jusot & Sandy Tubeuf & Alain Trannoy, 2012. "Les différences d'état de santé en France : inégalités des chances ou reflet des comportements à risques ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 455(1), pages 37-51.
    2. Thomas Barnay & Carine Franc & Florence Jusot, 2015. "Introduction : La santé et les soins : prise en charge, déterminants sociaux, conséquences professionnelles," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 475(1), pages 17-29.
    3. Thomas Barnay & Carine Franc & Florence Jusot, 2015. "Introduction générale : La santé et les soins : prise en charge, déterminants sociaux, conséquences professionnelles," Post-Print hal-01297576, HAL.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11292 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Philippe Batifoulier, 2014. "De l’aléa moral du patient aux inégalités d’accès aux soins," EconomiX Working Papers 2014-7, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    6. Roméo Fontaine, 2009. "Aider Un Parent Âgé Se Fait-Il Au Détriment De L'Emploi ?," Post-Print hal-01427383, HAL.

    More about this item


    early life hypothesis; equality of opportunity; health inequalities; intergenerational transmission.;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other


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