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Child Health and the Income Gradient: Evidence from China

  • Chen, Yi

    ()

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Lei, Xiaoyan

    ()

    (Peking University)

  • Zhou, Li-An

    ()

    (Peking University)

Though the positive income gradient of child health is well documented in developed countries, evidence from developing countries is rare. Few studies attempt to identify a causal link between family income and child health. Utilizing unique longitudinal data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, we have found a positive, age-enhancing income gradient of child health, measured by height-for-age z scores. The gradient is robust to alternative specifications and a comprehensive set of controls. Using the fact that the rural tax reform implemented since 2000 created an exogenous variation in family income across regions and over time, we explore a causal explanation for the income gradient, and find that it has a very strong independent causal effect on child health.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5182.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5182
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