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Socioeconomic Influences on the Health of Older Canadians: Estimates Based on Two Longitudinal Surveys


  • Neil J Buckley
  • Frank T Denton
  • A Leslie Robb
  • Byron G Spencer


It is well established that there is a positive statistical relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and health but identifying the direction of causation is difficult. This study exploits the longitudinal nature of two Canadian surveys, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics and the National Population Health Survey, to study the link from SES to health (as distinguished from the health-to-SES link). For people aged 50 and older who are initially in good health we examine whether changes in health status over the next two to four years are related to prior SES, as represented by income and education. Although the two surveys were designed for different purposes and had different questions for income and health, the evidence they yield with respect to the probability of remaining in good health is similar. Both suggest that SES does play a role and that the differences across SES groups are quantitatively significant, increase with age, and are much the same for men and women.

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  • Neil J Buckley & Frank T Denton & A Leslie Robb & Byron G Spencer, 2005. "Socioeconomic Influences on the Health of Older Canadians: Estimates Based on Two Longitudinal Surveys," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 139, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:139

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Neil J. Buckley & Frank T. Denton & A. Leslie Robb & Byron G. Spencer, 2004. "Healthy Aging at Older Ages: Are Income and Education Important?," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 123, McMaster University.
    8. Buckley, Neil J. & Denton, Frank T. & Leslie Robb, A. & Spencer, Byron G., 2004. "The transition from good to poor health: an econometric study of the older population," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 1013-1034, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shu-Hsi Ho, 2015. "A comparative assessment of emergency medicine between the widowers and widows among the elderly in Taiwan," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(3), pages 1795-1808.
    2. Hana Bataineh & Rose Anne Devlin & Vicky Barham, 2018. "Does unmet health care lead to poorer health outcomes?," Working Papers 1803E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    3. Peter Burton & Lynn N. Lethbridge & Shelley Phipps, 2008. "Mothering Children with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions: Long-Term Implications for Self-Reported Health," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(3), pages 359-378, September.

    More about this item


    health transitions; income; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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