How Do the Better Educated Do It? Socioeconomic Status and the Ability to Cope with Underlying Impairment
There is a pronounced gradient in disability across socioeconomic groups, with better educated and higher income groups reporting substantially less disability. In this paper, we consider why that is the case, focusing on impairments in basic physical and cognitive aspects of living for the elderly. Our empirical work has two parts. First, we consider how much of this gradient in disability is a result of underlying differences in functioning versus the ability to cope with impairments. We show differences in functioning are the major part of the difference in disability, but both are important. Second, we consider how the better educated elderly cope with disability. Better educated people use substantially more assistive technology than the less educated and are more likely to use paid help. But use of these services is not the primary reason that the better educated are better able to cope. We conclude with thoughts about other potential factors that may explain differential coping.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as "How Do The Better Educated Do It? Socioeconomic Status and Ability to Cope with Underlying Impairment," forthcoming in D. Wise, ed., Developments in the Economics of Aging, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009 (with Mary Beth Landrum and Kate Stewart).|
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- Stuck, Andreas E. & Walthert, Jutta M. & Nikolaus, Thorsten & Büla, Christophe J. & Hohmann, Christoph & Beck, John C., 1999. "Risk factors for functional status decline in community-living elderly people: a systematic literature review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 445-469, February.
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"Mortality, Education, Income, and Inequality among American Cohorts,"
NBER Working Papers
7140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1999. "Mortality, education, income and inequality among American cohorts," Working Papers 279, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
- Agree, Emily M., 1999. "The influence of personal care and assistive devices on the measurement of disability," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 427-443, February.
- Vicki Freedman & Eileen Crimmins & Robert Schoeni & Brenda Spillman & Hakan Aykan & Ellen Kramarow & Kenneth Land & James Lubitz & Kenneth Manton & Linda Martin & Diane Shinberg & Timothy Waidmann, 2004. "Resolving inconsistencies in trends in old-age disability: Report from a technical working group," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 417-441, August.
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