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Re-Constructing Childhood Health Histories

  • James P. Smith

    ()

This paper provides evidence about the quality of retrospective childhood health histories given to respondents in the Health and Retirement Survey and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Even though information on early life health events is critical, there is legitimate skepticism about the ability of older respondents to remember specific health problems that they had as a child. The evidence presented in this paper suggests that this is too negative a view. Respondents appear to remember salient childhood events about themselves such as the illnesses they had as a child quite well. Moreover, these physical and psychological childhood health events are important correlates of adult health during middle age.

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File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2009/RAND_WR666.pdf
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Paper provided by RAND Corporation in its series Working Papers with number 666.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:666
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  1. James Smith, 2005. "The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Labor Market Outcomes," Labor and Demography 0511001, EconWPA.
  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. 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.
  4. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  5. James P. Smith, 2005. "The Impact of SES on Health over the Life-Course," Working Papers 318, RAND Corporation.
  6. Kapteyn, A. & Smith, J.P. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2007. "Vignettes and self-reports of work disability in the United States and the Netherlands," Other publications TiSEM 17902a1e-7cbb-4f3f-a772-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  7. Arie Kapteyn & James P. Smith & Arthur van Soest, 2005. "Self-reported Work Disability in the US and The Netherlands," Labor and Demography 0504006, EconWPA.
  8. Blackwell, Debra L. & Hayward, Mark D. & Crimmins, Eileen M., 2001. "Does childhood health affect chronic morbidity in later life?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1269-1284, April.
  9. James P. Smith & Duncan Thomas, 2004. "Remembrances of Things Past: Test-Retest Reliability of Retrospective Migration Histories," Labor and Demography 0403026, EconWPA.
  10. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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