NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Socioeconomic Status and Health: Why is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?

Janet Currie, Mark Stabile

NBER Working Paper No. 9098
Issued in August 2002
NBER Program(s):   CH   HC

Case, Lubotsky, and Paxson (2001) show that the well-known relationship between socio- economic status (SES) and health exists in childhood and grows more pronounced with age. However, in cross-sectional data it is difficult to distinguish between two possible explanations. The first is that low-SES children are less able to respond to a given health shock. The second is that low SES children experience more shocks. We show, using panel data on Canadian children that: 1) the gradient we estimate in the cross section is very similar to that estimated previously using U.S. children; 2) both high and low-SES children recover from past health shocks to about the same degree; and 3) that the relationship between SES and health grows stronger over time mainly because low-SES children receive more negative health shocks. In addition, we examine the effect of health shocks on math and reading scores. We find that health shocks affect test scores and future health in very similar ways. Our results suggest that public policy aimed at reducing SES-related health differentials in children should focus on reducing the incidence of health shocks as well as on reducing disparities in access to palliative care.

download in pdf format
   (127 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 (127 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Published: Currie, Janet and Mark Stabile. "Socioeconomic Status And Child Health: Why Is The Relationship Stronger For Older Children?," American Economic Review, 2003, v93(5,Dec), 1813-1823.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Cutler, Lleras-Muney, and Vogl w14333 Socioeconomic Status and Health: Dimensions and Mechanisms
Case, Lubotsky, and Paxson w8344 Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient
Currie w13987 Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development
Case, Paxson, and Vogl w12267 Socioeconomic Status and Health in Childhood: A Comment on Chen, Martin and Matthews (2006)
Adams, Hurd, McFadden, Merrill, and Ribeiro Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us