IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp1328.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is the Child Health / Family Income Gradient Universal? Evidence from England

Author

Listed:
  • Currie, Alison

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Shields, Michael A.

    () (Monash University)

  • Wheatley Price, Stephen

    () (University of Leicester)

Abstract

In an influential study Case et al. (2002) documented a positive relationship between family income and child health in the US, with the slope of the gradient being larger for older than younger children. In this paper we explore the child health income gradient in England, which has a comprehensive publicly-funded National Health Service (NHS) founded on the twin principles of health care being free at the point of delivery and equality of access for the whole population. Our analysis is based on a sample of over 13,000 children (and their parents) drawn from the Health Survey for England. In accordance with Case et al. (2002), we find consistent and robust evidence of a significant family income gradient in child health using the subjective general health status measure. However, in England the size of the gradient is considerably smaller than that found for the US and we find no evidence that its slope increases with child age. We also provide new evidence that nutrition and family lifestyle choices have an important role in determining child health and that child health outcomes are highly correlated within the family. In addition, we find no evidence of an income gradient for objective indicators of child health, derived from nurse measurements and blood test results. Together our evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that the NHS has a protective effect on the health of children in England.

Suggested Citation

  • Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2004. "Is the Child Health / Family Income Gradient Universal? Evidence from England," IZA Discussion Papers 1328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1328
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp1328.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    2. Deaton, Angus S & Paxson, Christina H, 1998. "Aging and Inequality in Income and Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 248-253, May.
    3. Paul Contoyannis & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice, 2004. "The dynamics of health in the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 473-503.
    4. Anne Case & Ingrid Le Roux & Alicia Menendez, 2004. "Medical Compliance and Income-Health Gradients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 331-335, May.
    5. Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
    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. Meer, Jonathan & Miller, Douglas L. & Rosen, Harvey S., 2003. "Exploring the health-wealth nexus," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 713-730, September.
    9. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
    10. 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.
    11. Propper, Carol, 2000. "The demand for private health care in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 855-876, November.
    12. Janet Currie, 2004. "Viewpoint: Child research comes of age," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(3), pages 509-527, August.
    13. Culyer, A. J. & Wagstaff, Adam, 1993. "Equity and equality in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 431-457, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Björn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Health effects on children’s willingness to compete," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 58-70, March.
    2. Salm, Martin & Schunk, Daniel, 2008. "The Role of Childhood Health for the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3646, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Carol Propper & John A. Rigg, 2006. "Understanding socio-economic inequalities in childhood respiratory health," CASE Papers case109, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    4. Booth, Alison L. & Carroll, Nick, 2005. "The Health Status of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians," IZA Discussion Papers 1534, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & John A. Rigg, 2005. "Health Supplier Quality and the Distribution of Child Health," CASE Papers 102, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    6. Carol Propper & John Rigg & Simon Burgess, 2007. "Child health: evidence on the roles of family income and maternal mental health from a UK birth cohort," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1245-1269.
    7. Orla Doyle & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 2007. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on Child Health. Further Evidence for England," Working Papers 200706, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    8. Costa-i-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of childhood obesity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 49487, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Annette Quinto Romani, 2014. "Parental Socioeconomic Background and Child Behaviour," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 295-306, March.
    10. Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Jenny Williams, 2011. "Quantifying the cost of passive smoking on child health: evidence from children's cotinine samples," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(1), pages 195-212, January.
    11. James P. Smith, 2005. "The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers WR-319, RAND Corporation.
    12. repec:ran:wpaper:809 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. James P. Smith & Yan Shen & John Strauss & Yang Zhe & Yaohui Zhao, 2012. "The Effects of Childhood Health on Adult Health and SES in China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(1), pages 127-156.
    14. Lokshin, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Searching for the economic gradient in self-assessed health," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3698, The World Bank.
    15. Michael Lokshin & Martin Ravallion, 2008. "Testing for an economic gradient in health status using subjective data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(11), pages 1237-1259.
    16. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of child obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 29-37.
    17. Doyle, Orla & Harmon, Colm P. & Walker, Ian, 2005. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Health of their Children," IZA Discussion Papers 1832, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Lefebvre, Pierre, 2006. "Le gradient santé / revenu familial des nouveau-nés québécois de 1998 après quatre ans : faible ou inexistant?," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 82(4), pages 523-595, décembre.
    19. Anna Christina D'Addio, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility Across Generations?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 52, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    lifestyle; child health; income gradient; chronic illness; nutrition;

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1328. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.