The Impact Of Ses On Health Over The Life-Course
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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