NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Long Reach of Childhood Health and Circumstance: Evidence from the Whitehall II Study

Anne Case, Christina Paxson

NBER Working Paper No. 15640
Issued in January 2010
NBER Program(s):   AG   CH   HC   POL

We use data from the Whitehall II study to examine the potential role played by early-life health and circumstances in determining health and employment status in middle and older ages. The population from which the Whitehall II cohort was drawn consisted almost exclusively of white collar civil servants. We demonstrate that estimates of the impact of early-life conditions based on the Whitehall II cohort provide a lower bound on the effect of early-life circumstances on adult health and economic status for the population as a whole. That said, using the Whitehall II cohort data, we find early life circumstances are all predictive of entry grade and promotion to higher grade in Whitehall. Even with controls for entry grade or current grade, we find that childhood circumstances predict cohort members' current health status. Using fixed effect and first-difference models of self-assessed health status and civil service employment grade, we find no evidence of civil service grade affecting future self-assessed health. However, we find self-assessed health has a significant effect on future civil service grade.

download in pdf format
   (231 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (231 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15640

Published: Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2011. "The Long Reach of Childhood Health and Circumstance: Evidence from the Whitehall II Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(554), pages F183-F204, 08. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Case and Paxson w15637 Causes and Consequences of Early Life Health
Almond and Currie w15827 Human Capital Development Before Age Five
Currie w13987 Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development
Case, Fertig, and Paxson w9788 From Cradle to Grave? The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance
Basu and Philipson w15633 The Impact of Comparative Effectiveness Research on Health and Health Care Spending
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us