IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Role of Permanent Income and Family Structure in the Determination of Child Health in the Ontario Child Health Study

Listed author(s):
  • Lori Curtis
  • Martin D. Dooley
  • Ellen L. Lipman
  • David H. Feeny

A statistical association between poor child health and low family income has been well established by Lipman, Offord and Boyle (1994, 1995) and Dooley and Lipman (1995) in a series of papers using data from the Ontario Child Health Study (OCHS). The incidence of psychiatric disorders and poor school performance is higher among children of poor families than among children of non-poor families. The OCHS data generally show that children in one parent families have more problems than do children in two parent families, but this finding is less robust than that for low income. Most previous, however, has been done with the initial 1983 wave of the OCHS and little been done with the data from both the 1983 and 1987 surveys. Our objective in the proposed paper is to investigate these relationships using both waves of the OCHS data. We are particularly interested in the relationship between child health and “permanent low income” as measured by the income data from both waves. We will investigate the possibility that there is a lagged relationship between family status and child health. Cross tabular and multivariate methods will be used to analyse the relationship between socioeconomic status and child health status. We will use ordinal and cardinal measures of child health derived from the Health Utilities Index Mark 2 (Feeny et al., 1992 and Torrence et al., 1992). This HUI system affords one means of assessing the overall impact of socioeconomic status on child health status and health-related quality of life. The longitudinal results indicate that lone motherhood (both current and long-term status) was negatively associated with all outcome measures except cognition. Most notable was the fact that current low income exhibited a much weaker relationship with our health outcome measures than did longer term low income. In most cases the marginal effect on child health of long term poverty was equal to or greater than the marginal effect of ever having lived in a lone-mother family. We believe this demonstrates the necessity of obtaining measures of permanent income rather than current income levels when investigating child health status.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers with number 16.

in new window

Length: 32 pages
Date of creation:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:16
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4M4

Phone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 22765
Fax: (905) 521-8232
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Panis, Constantijn W. A. & Lillard, Lee A., 1994. "Health inputs and child mortality: Malaysia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 455-489.
  2. Keeney,Ralph L. & Raiffa,Howard, 1993. "Decisions with Multiple Objectives," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438834, December.
  3. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
  4. Torrance, George W., 1986. "Measurement of health state utilities for economic appraisal : A review," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 1-30, March.
  5. Currie, Janet, 1995. " Socio-Economic Status and Child Health: Does Public Health Insurance Narrow the Gap?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 603-620, December.
  6. D Feeny & G Torrance & C Goldsmith & W Furlong & M Boyle, 1994. "A Multi-attribute Approach to Population Health Status," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 1994-05, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcm:cilnwp:16. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.