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The Effects of Childhood Health on Adult Health and SES in China

  • Smith, James P.

    ()

    (RAND)

  • Shen, Yan

    ()

    (Peking University)

  • Strauss, John

    ()

    (University of Southern California)

  • Zhe, Yang

    ()

    (University of California, Davis)

  • Zhao, Yaohui

    ()

    (Peking University)

In this paper, we model the consequences of childhood health on adult health and socio-economic status outcomes in China using a new sample of middle aged and older Chinese respondents. Modeled after the American Health and Retirement Survey (HRS), the CHARLS Pilot survey respondents are forty-five years and older in two quite distinct provinces – Zhejiang, a high growth industrialized province on the East Coast, and Gansu, a largely agricultural and poor province in the West. Childhood health in CHARLS relies on two measures that proxy for different dimensions of health during the childhood years. The first is a retrospective self-evaluation using a standard five-point scale (excellent, very good, good, fair, or poor) of general state of one’s health when one was less than 16 years old. The second is adult height often thought to be a good measure of levels of nutrition during early childhood and the prenatal period. We relate both these childhood health measures to adult health and SES outcomes during the adult years. We find strong effects of childhood health on adult health outcomes particularly among Chinese women and strong effects on adult BMI particularly for Chinese men.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5318.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Development and Cultural Change 61(1):127-156, October 2012
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5318
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  1. Philip Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie L. Roos, 2008. "Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis Using Siblings and Twins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  2. 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.
  3. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Smith, James Patrick & Smith, Gillian C., 2010. "Long-term economic costs of psychological problems during childhood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 110-115, July.
  5. Strauss, John & Lei, Xiaoyan & Park, Albert & Shen, Yan & Smith, James P. & Yang, Zhe & Zhao, Yaohui, 2010. "Health Outcomes and Socio-Economic Status among the Elderly in China: Evidence from the CHARLS Pilot," IZA Discussion Papers 5152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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..
  7. Delaney, Liam & McGovern, Mark & Smith, James P., 2011. "From Angela's ashes to the Celtic tiger: Early life conditions and adult health in Ireland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-10, January.
  8. 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).
  9. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
  10. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Fogel,Robert William, 2004. "The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521808781, Junio.
  12. 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.
  13. John A. Maluccio & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2009. "The Impact of Improving Nutrition During Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 734-763, 04.
  14. repec:ran:wpaper:774 is not listed on IDEAS
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