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Unravelling the SES health connection

Author

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  • James Smith

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and RAND)

Abstract

This paper looks at the links between health and socio-economic status. It is generally assumed by non-economists that it is low SES that causes ill health, but this paper asks whether the causation might also work the other way. Even if the direction of causation is that SES mainly affects health, what dimensions of SES actually matter the financial aspects such as income or wealth or nonfinancial dimensions like education? Finally, is there a life course component to the health gradient so that we may be misled in trying to answer these questions by only looking at people of a certain age say those past 50. This paper provides my answers to these questions.

Suggested Citation

  • James Smith, 2004. "Unravelling the SES health connection," IFS Working Papers W04/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:04/02
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    File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0402.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James Smith, 2005. "Consequences and Predictors of New Health Events," NBER Chapters,in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 213-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Anne Case & Angus S. Deaton, 2005. "Broken Down by Work and Sex: How Our Health Declines," NBER Chapters,in: Analyses in the Economics of Aging, pages 185-212 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    4. James P. Smith, 2004. "Why is Wealth Inequality Rising?," Macroeconomics 0402012, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. James Smith & Raynard Kington, 1997. "Demographic and economic correlates of health in old age," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(1), pages 159-170, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
    8. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_impact_childhood_health.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dana P. Goldman & James P. Smith, 2004. "Can Patient Self-Management Help Explain the SES Health Gradient?," HEW 0403004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    12. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_impact_childhood_health is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; socio-economic status; causation;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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