NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Increasing Our Understanding of the Health-Income Gradient in Children

Jason Fletcher, Barbara L. Wolfe

NBER Working Paper No. 18639
Issued in December 2012
NBER Program(s):   CH   HE

There have been numerous attempts to both document the income-health gradient in children and to understand the nature of the tie. In this paper we review and summarize existing studies and then use a unique school based panel data set from the US to attempt to further our understanding of the relationship. The long duration (5 observations, 9 years) allows us to add to the understanding of the pattern of the tie, through our ability to test for changes in health status and multiple measures of income, and the school-based nature of the data allow us to add community SES to the model. Increasing understanding of the income-health gradient may allow more effective targeting of interventions to decrease the gradient and hence decrease health disparities among children.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18639

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