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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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File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap139.pdf
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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 139.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:139
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Web page: http://www.mcmaster.ca/economics/
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  1. Martin Dooley & Jennifer Stewart, 2004. "Family income and child outcomes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 898-917, November.
  2. Manderbacka, Kristiina & Kåreholt, Ingemar & Martikainen, Pekka & Lundberg, Olle, 2003. "The effect of point of reference on the association between self-rated health and mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1447-1452, April.
  3. Jonathan Meer & Douglas L. Miller & Harvey S. Rosen, 2003. "Exploring the Health-Wealth Nexus," NBER Working Papers 9554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dana P. Goldman & James P. Smith, 2004. "Can Patient Self-Management Help Explain the SES Health Gradient?," HEW 0403004, EconWPA.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Benzeval, Michaela & Judge, Ken, 2001. "Income and health: the time dimension," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(9), pages 1371-1390, May.
  8. Baron-Epel, Orna & Kaplan, Giora, 2001. "General subjective health status or age-related subjective health status: does it make a difference?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(10), pages 1373-1381, November.
  9. Kaplan, Giora & Baron-Epel, Orna, 2003. "What lies behind the subjective evaluation of health status?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1669-1676, April.
  10. Michael Baker & Mark Stabile & Catherine Deri, 2001. "What do Self-Reported, Objective, Measures of Health Measure?," NBER Working Papers 8419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Robert W. Fogel & Chulhee Lee, 2003. "Who Gets Health Care?," NBER Working Papers 9870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Parminder Raina & Vicki Torrance-Rynard & Micheline Wong & Christel Woodward, 2002. "Agreement between Self-Reported and Routinely Collected Health Care Utilisation Data among Seniors," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 81, McMaster University.
  14. Adams, Peter & Hurd, Michael D. & McFadden, Daniel & Merrill, Angela & Ribeiro, Tiago, 2003. "Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Tests for direct causal paths between health and socioeconomic status," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 3-56, January.
  15. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
  16. Crossley, Thomas F. & Kennedy, Steven, 2002. "The reliability of self-assessed health status," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 643-658, July.
  17. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  18. McDonald, James Ted & Kennedy, Steven, 2004. "Insights into the 'healthy immigrant effect': health status and health service use of immigrants to Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 1613-1627, October.
  19. Dunlop, Sheryl & Coyte, Peter C. & McIsaac, Warren, 2000. "Socio-economic status and the utilisation of physicians' services: results from the Canadian National Population Health Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 123-133, July.
  20. 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.
  21. Van Ourti, Tom, 2003. "Socio-economic inequality in ill-health amongst the elderly: Should one use current or permanent income?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 219-241, March.
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