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A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Over the Life Cycle

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  • Titus Galama
  • Hans van Kippersluis

Abstract

Understanding of the substantial disparity in health between low and high socioeconomic status (SES) groups is hampered by the lack of a sufficiently comprehensive theoretical framework to interpret empirical facts and to predict yet untested relations. The authors present a life-cycle model that incorporates multiple mechanisms explaining (jointly) a large part of the observed disparities in health by SES. In their model, lifestyle factors, working conditions, retirement, living conditions and curative care are mechanisms through which SES, health and mortality are related. Their model predicts a widening and possibly a subsequent narrowing with age of the gradient in health by SES.

Suggested Citation

  • Titus Galama & Hans van Kippersluis, 2010. "A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Over the Life Cycle," Working Papers WR-773, RAND Corporation.
  • Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:wr-773
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    socioeconomic status; education; health; demand for health; health capital; medical care; life cycle; age; labor; retirement; mortality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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