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Consequences and predictors of new health events

  • James P. Smith

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

There is renewed interest in why people of lower socio-economic status (SES) have worse health outcomes. No matter which measures of SES are used (income, wealth, or education), the evidence that this association is large is abundant (Marmot (1999), Smith (1999)). The relation between SES and health appears also to be pervasive over time and across countries at quite different levels of economic development (Kitagawa and Hauser (1973), Townsend et al. (1988)). Considerable debate remains about why the relation arises and what the principal directions of causation might be ((Smith (1999), Adams et al. (2003), Deaton (2003)). However, many analytical difficulties exist when one tries to understand its meaning. These difficulties include the complex dimensionality of health status that produces considerable heterogeneity in health outcomes, the two-way interaction between health and economic status, and the separation of anticipated from unanticipated health or economic shocks.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W03/22.

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Length: 41 pp.
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:03/22
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  1. Deaton, A., 2001. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Papers 200, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  2. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic status and health in childhood: the origins of the gradient," Working Papers 262, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  3. James P. Smith & Raynard Kington, 2004. "Demographic and Economic Correlates of Health in Old Age," Labor and Demography 0408008, EconWPA.
  4. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dana P. Goldman & James P. Smith, 2004. "Can Patient Self-Management Help Explain the SES Health Gradient?," HEW 0403004, EconWPA.
  6. James P. Smith, 2004. "Why is Wealth Inequality Rising?," Macroeconomics 0402012, EconWPA.
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