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The Income Gradient In Children's Health: A Comment On Currie, Shields And Wheatley Price


  • Anne Case

    (Princeton University and NBER)

  • Diana Lee

    (Princeton University)

  • Christina Paxson

    (Princeton University and NBER)


This paper reexamines differences found between income gradients in American and English children's health, in results originally published by Case, Lubotsky and Paxson (2002) for the US, and by Currie, Shields and Wheatley Price (2007) for England. We find that, when the English sample is expanded by adding three years of data, and is compared to American data from the same time period, the income gradient in children's health increases with age by the same amount in the two countries. In addition, we find that Currie, Shields and Wheatley Price's measures of chronic conditions from the Health Survey of England were incorrectly coded. Using correctly coded data, we find that the effects of chronic conditions on health status are larger in the English sample than in the American sample, and that income plays a larger role in buffering children's health from the effects of chronic conditions in England. We find no evidence that the British National Health Service, with its focus on free services and equal access, prevents the association between health and income from becoming more pronounced as children grow older.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Case & Diana Lee & Christina Paxson, 2007. "The Income Gradient In Children's Health: A Comment On Currie, Shields And Wheatley Price," Working Papers 1019, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:cheawb:55

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    4. West, Patrick & Sweeting, Helen, 2004. "Evidence on equalisation in health in youth from the West of Scotland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 13-27, July.
    5. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    6. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 2007. "The child health/family income gradient: Evidence from England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 213-232, March.
    7. West, Patrick, 1997. "Health inequalities in the early years: Is there equalisation in youth?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 833-858, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health


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