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Health, Wealth, and the Role of Institutions

  • Michael Hurd
  • Arie Kapteyn

A positive relationship between socio-economic status and health has been observed over many populations and many time periods. One of the factors mediating this relation is the institutional environment in which people function. The authors consider longitudinal data from two countries with very different institutional environments, the U.S. and the Netherlands. To structure the empirical analysis, a theoretical model is developed relating changes in health status to income and changes in income to health status. The authors show that income or wealth inequality is closely connected with health inequality. The authors estimate counterparts to the theoretical relationships with generally corroborative results.

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Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 03-09.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:03-09
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  1. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, July.
  2. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fuch82-1, July.
  3. Michael D. Hurd, 1999. "Mortality Risk and Consumption by Couples," NBER Working Papers 7048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Introduction to "Economic Aspects of Health"," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Avery, Robert B & Elliehausen, Gregory E & Kennickell, Arthur B, 1988. "Measuring Wealth with Survey Data: An Evaluation of the 1983 Survey of Consumer Finances," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(4), pages 339-69, December.
  6. Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria & Kapteyn, Arie, 1999. "Saving after retirement: evidence from three different surveys," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 277-310, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Mark B. McClellan, 1998. "Health Events, Health Insurance, and Labor Supply: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 301-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Fuchs, Victor R. (ed.), 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226267852, March.
  11. Davies, J B, 1979. "On the Size Distribution of Wealth in Canada," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 25(3), pages 237-59, September.
  12. Victor R. Fuchs, 1980. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 0539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
  14. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
  15. Avery, Robert B & Kennickell, Arthur B, 1991. "Household Saving in the U.S," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 409-32, December.
  16. Erik Hurst & Ming Ching Luoh & Frank P. Stafford, 1998. "The Wealth Dynamics of American Families, 1984-94," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 267-338.
  17. Hurd, Michael D, 1987. "Savings of the Elderly and Desired Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 298-312, June.
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