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Children's Health and the Family

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  • Linda N. Edwards
  • Michael Grossman

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to define the relationship between a number of family characteristics and the health of white children aged 6 to 11 years residing in those families. The partial effects of family income on health are1l and seldom statistically significant. Indeed, some health problems -- high blood pressure, allergies, and tension -- are more likely to occur among children from high income families. The general finding of small partial income effects is supported by analysis of gross health differences between children from lower and higher income families. In those cases where significant gross health difference. do exist between children from these two income classes, decomposition of these gross differences shows them to be attributable in large part to factors other than income itself. The finding that differences in health related solely to income are smaller than commonly believed implies that policies to improve the well-being of children via income transfers, such as those advocated by the recent Carnegie Council on Children, would have, at best, very small effects on health. Indeed, the most important conclusion of our study is that the present tendency to base government child health programs on simplistic notions that income is the primary source of differences in children's health will not lead towards fruitful or successful public policy regarding children's health.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1978. "Children's Health and the Family," NBER Working Papers 0256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0256
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Children's Health and Intellectual Development," NBER Working Papers 0180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Yoram Ben-Porath & Finis Welch, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307.
    3. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
    4. Ishikawa, Tsuneo, 1975. "Family Structures and Family Values in the Theory of Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(5), pages 987-1008, October.
    5. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 14-64, Part II, .
    6. Robert P. Inman, 1976. "The Family Provision of Children's Health: An Economic Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: The Role of Health Insurance in the Health Services Sector, pages 215-260 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1.
    8. George W. Torrance, 1976. "Health Status Index Models: A Unified Mathematical View," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(9), pages 990-1001, May.
    9. Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1980. "The Relationship Between Children's Health and Intellectual Development," NBER Working Papers 0213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hu, Teh-Wei, 1973. "Effectiveness of child health and welfare programs: A simultaneous equations approach," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 705-721, December.
    11. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1972:62:7:924-930_4 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander J. Cowell, 2006. "The relationship between education and health behavior: some empirical evidence," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 125-146.
    2. Grossman, Michael, 2006. "Education and Nonmarket Outcomes," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    3. Mark Agee & Thomas Crocker, 2008. "Does parents’ valuation of children’s health mimic their valuation of own health?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 231-249, January.
    4. Alison Snow Jones & Deborah J. Miller & David S. Salkever, 1999. "Parental use of alcohol and children's behavioural health: a household production analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(8), pages 661-683.
    5. Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1979. "Income and Race Differences in Children's Health," NBER Working Papers 0308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Linda N. Edwards & Michael Grossman, 1979. "Adolescent Health, Family Background, and Preventive Medical Care," NBER Working Papers 0398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Scott A. Carson, 2015. "The Weight of Inequality: Variation with Industrialization and Wealth," CESifo Working Paper Series 5629, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Scott A. Carson, 2010. "Nineteenth Century Stature and Family Size: Binding Constraint or Productive Labor Force?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2999, CESifo Group Munich.

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