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The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes

  • James P. Smith

This paper examines the impact of childhood health on a series of SES outcomes observed during adulthood. These outcomes include levels and trajectories of education, family income, household wealth, individual earnings and labor supply. The analysis is conducted using unique data that collects these SES measures starting with a panel who were originally children and who are now well into their adult years. Since all siblings are also included in the panel, one is able to control for all unmeasured family and neighborhood background effects. With the exception of education, it is found that the poor childhood health has a quantitatively large effect on all these outcomes. Moreover, these estimated effects are much larger when unobserved family effects are controlled.

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File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2006/RAND_WR319.pdf
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Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 319.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:319
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  1. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Smith, James P, 1998. "Socioeconomic Status and Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 192-96, May.
  3. 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.
  4. Phil Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie Roos, 2006. "Short, Medium, and Long Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis using Siblings and Twins," NBER Working Papers 11998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith & Arthur van Soest, 2005. "Self-reported Work Disability in the US and The Netherlands," Labor and Demography 0504006, EconWPA.
  6. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
  7. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
  8. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2004. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," NBER Working Papers 10552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John Bound & Gary Solon, 1998. "Double Trouble: On the Value of Twins-Based Estimation of the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 6721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
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