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Socioeconomic Status in Childhood and Health After Age 70: A New Longitudinal Analysis for the U.S., 1895-2005

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  • Joseph P. Ferrie
  • Karen Rolf

Abstract

The link between circumstances faced by individuals early in life (including those encountered in utero) and later life outcomes has been of increasing interest since the work of Barker in the 1970s on birth weight and adult disease. We provide such a life course perspective for the U.S. by following 45,000 U.S.-born males from the household where they resided before age 5 until their death and analyzing the link between the characteristics of their childhood environment - particularly, its socioeconomic status - and their longevity and specific cause of death. Individuals living before age 5 in lower SES households (measured by father's occupation and family home ownership) die younger and are more likely to die from heart disease than those living in higher SES households. The pathways potentially generating these effects are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph P. Ferrie & Karen Rolf, 2011. "Socioeconomic Status in Childhood and Health After Age 70: A New Longitudinal Analysis for the U.S., 1895-2005," NBER Working Papers 17016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17016
    Note: CH DAE LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moehling, Carolyn M., 2005. ": Youth Employment and Household Decision Making in the Early Twentieth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(02), pages 414-438, June.
    2. Mårten Palme & Sofia Sandgren, 2008. "Parental Income, Lifetime Income, and Mortality," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 890-911, June.
    3. Thomasson, Melissa A., 2002. "From Sickness to Health: The Twentieth-Century Development of U.S. Health Insurance," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 233-253, July.
    4. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
    5. Michael R. Haines, 2001. "The Urban Mortality Transition in the United States, 1800-1940," NBER Historical Working Papers 0134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Tim Watts, 2010. "Long-Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in Nineteenth-Century France," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 714-728, November.
    7. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1991. "Unemployment, employment contracts, and compensating wage differentials: michigan in the 1890s," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(03), pages 605-632, September.
    8. Thomasson, Melissa A. & Treber, Jaret, 2008. "From home to hospital: The evolution of childbirth in the United States, 1928-1940," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 76-99, January.
    9. Price V. Fishback & Michael R. Haines & Shawn Kantor, 2007. "Births, Deaths, and New Deal Relief during the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-14, February.
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    11. Robert A. Margo, 1992. "The Labor Force in the Nineteenth Century," NBER Historical Working Papers 0040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomasson, Melissa A. & Fishback, Price V., 2014. "Hard times in the land of plenty: The effect on income and disability later in life for people born during the great depression," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 64-78.
    2. Krzysztof Karbownik & Anthony Wray, 2016. "Long-run Consequences of Exposure to Natural Disasters," CESifo Working Paper Series 6196, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Shuyun May Li, Solmaz Moslehi, Siew Ling Yew, 2012. "Public-Private Mix of Health Expenditure: A Political Economy Approach and A Quantitative Exercise," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1157, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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