NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Jason Alan Thompson

New York University
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New York, NY 10003

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2011Health Shocks, Insurance Status and Net Worth: Intra- and Inter-Generational Effects
with Dalton Conley: w16857
An extensive literature has documented a robust correlation between socioeconomic status--measured in a variety of ways--and health outcomes; however, much uncertainty remains regarding what causal processes underlie this association. The present paper builds on a growing literature that seeks to better document how and why wealth and SES are related. Specifically, we ask the extent to which health shocks affect net worth--a less-studied dimension of socioeconomic status. Given a lack of instruments that meet the exclusion restriction, we use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to pursue a first-differences identification strategy. We estimate a parameter for acute illnesses (which should have a causal effect on wave-to-wave wealth changes) and compare this coefficient to a co...
 
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