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The Impact Of Ses On Health Over The Life-Course

  • James P. Smith

In this paper I evaluated the new health information that has recently become available in the PSID to assess whether or not it can serve a constructive role in the ongoing SES-health debate. There are two types of information that appear to be promising—the self-reports of general health status that were first introduced in 1984, and the prevalence and incidence of new chronic conditions that were first added in 1999. In this evaluation, I place particular emphasis on the possibility of using the retrospective information on incidence of chronic conditions. The paper also offers several substantive conclusions. First, across the life course SES impacts future health outcomes although the primary culprit appears to be education and not an individual’s financial resources in whatever form they might be received. That conclusion appears to be robust to whether the financial resources are income or wealth or to whether the financial resources represent new information such as the largely unanticipated wealth that was a consequence of the recent stock market boom. Finally, this conclusion appears to be robust across new health outcomes that take place across the short and intermediate time frames of up to fifteen years in the future

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/lab/papers/0511/0511002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0511002.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 03 Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0511002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 35
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Deaton, A., 2001. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Papers 200, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  2. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  3. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James P. Smith & Duncan Thomas, 2004. "Remembrances of Things Past: Test-Retest Reliability of Retrospective Migration Histories," Labor and Demography 0403026, EconWPA.
  5. Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," NBER Working Papers 6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Crossley, Thomas F. & Kennedy, Steven, 2002. "The reliability of self-assessed health status," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 643-658, July.
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