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Aging and Inequality in Income and Health

01 Jan 1998-The American Economic Review (American Economic Association)-Vol. 88, Iss: 2, pp 248-253
TL;DR: This paper summarizes and extends results from the National Health Interview Survey, and provides new evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), which contains a measure of household income and collects information on an ordinal measures of self-reported health status.
Abstract: In our earlier work, we used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to examine life-cycle patterns in health status and in the joint distribution of health status and income (Deaton and Paxson, 1998). In this paper we summarize and extend those results, and provide new evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Both surveys contain a measure of household income, and collect information on an ordinal measures of self-reported health status (SRHS) that ranges from 1 (excellent) to 5 (poor). Section I concerns problems related to the measurement of inequality in health. Section II presents evidence from the two surveys on health and income inequality.(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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James P. Smith1
TL;DR: The first section of this paper documents the size of the association between health and one prominent economic status measure--household wealth--and outlines reasons why health may alter household savings and the empirical magnitude of these effects.
Abstract: The first section of this paper documents the size of the association between health and one prominent economic status measure--household wealth. The next section deals with how health influences economic status by sketching out reasons why health may alter household savings (and eventually wealth) and then providing estimates of the empirical magnitude of these effects. The third section shifts attention to the other pathway--the links between economic status and health--and summarizes major controversies and evidence surrounding these issues.

1,779 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors consider the dynamics of a categorical indicator of self-assessed health using eight waves (1991-1998) of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS).
Abstract: This paper considers the dynamics of a categorical indicator of self-assessed health using eight waves (1991–1998) of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). Our analysis has three focal points: the relative contributions of state dependence and heterogeneity in explaining the dynamics of health, the existence and consequences of health-related sample attrition, and the investigation of the effects of measures of socioeconomic status, with a particular focus on educational attainment and income. To investigate these issues we use dynamic panel ordered probit models. There is clear evidence of health-related attrition in the data but this does not distort the estimates of state dependence and of the socioeconomic gradient in health. The models show strong positive state dependence and heterogeneity accounts for around 30% of the unexplained variation in health. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

529 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined the relationship between health and socioeconomic status, considering how multiple dimensions of socioeconomic resources and economic history are related to health disparities as people age and found cautious support for path-and duration-dependent processes of cumulative advantage in health.
Abstract: While there is consistent evidence that inequality in economic resources follows a process of cumulative advantage, the application of this framework to another aspect of life course inequality, health, has not produced consensus. This analysis uses longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the over‐time relationship between health and socioeconomic status, considering how multiple dimensions of socioeconomic resources and economic history are related to health disparities as people age. The authors find cautious support for path‐ and duration‐dependent processes of cumulative advantage in health. Results suggest that in studies of mechanisms of inequality over time, the cumulative advantage process may appear to be bounded by age because of the disproportionate attrition and mortality of those with low socioeconomic status.

451 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This work analyzes a unique Australian survey in which a random sub-sample of respondents answer a standard self-assessed health question twice-before and after an additional set of health related questions.

433 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigated whether there was a causal effect of income changes on the health satisfaction of East and West Germans in the years following reunification, and found evidence of a significant positive effect on health satisfaction, but the quantitative size of this effect is small.

388 citations

References
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TL;DR: In this paper, the marginal utility of consumption evolves according to a random walk with trend, and consumption itself should evolve in the same way, and the evidence supports a modified version of the life cycle permanent income hypothesis.
Abstract: Optimization of the part of consumers is shown to imply that the marginal utility of consumption evolves according to a random walk with trend. To a reasonable approximation, consumption itself should evolve in the same way. In particular, no variable apart from current consumption should be of any value in predicting future consumption. This implication is tested with time-series data for the postwar United States. It is confirmed for real disposable income, which has no predictive power for consumption, but rejected for an index of stock prices. The paper concludes that the evidence supports a modified version of the life cycle-permanent income hypothesis.

2,957 citations


Additional excerpts

  • ...This finding was motivated by a well-known feature of standard autarkic intertemporal choice models, that under appropriate assumptions consumption follows a martingale, see Hall (1978)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: There is evidence of a graded association with health at all levels of SES, an observation that requires new thought about domains through which SES may exert its health effects.
Abstract: Socioeconomic status (SES) is consistently associated with health outcomes, yet little is known about the psychosocial and behavioral mechanisms that might explain this association. Researchers usually control for SES rather than examine it. When it is studied, only effects of lower, poverty-level SES are generally examined. However, there is evidence of a graded association with health at all levels of SES, an observation that requires new thought about domains through which SES may exert its health effects. Variables are highlighted that show a graded relationship with both SES and health to provide examples of possible pathways between SES and health end points. Examples are also given of new analytic approaches that can better illuminate the complexities of the SES-health gradient.

2,874 citations


"Aging and Inequality in Income and ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...There is a well-documented but poorly understood “gradient” linking socioeconomic status to a wide range of health outcomes, see Adler et al (1994) and McIntyre (1997) for reviews....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors show that no variable apart from current consumption should be of any value in predicting future consumption, except real disposable income, which has no predictive power for consumption, but rejected for an index of stock prices.
Abstract: Optimization of the part of consumers is shown to imply that the marginal utility of consumption evolves according to a random walk with trend. To a reasonable approximation, consumption itself should evolve in the same way. In particular, no variable apart from current consumption should be of any value in predicting future consumption. This implication is tested with time-series data for the postwar United States. It is confirmed for real disposable income, which has no predictive power for consumption, but rejected for an index of stock prices. The paper concludes that the evidence supports a modified version of the life cycle--permanent income hypothesis.

2,721 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Despite an overall decline in death rates in the United States since 1960, poor and poorly educated people still die at higher rates than those with higher incomes or better educations, and this disparity increased between 1960 and 1986.
Abstract: Background There is an inverse relation between socioeconomic status and mortality. Over the past several decades death rates in the United States have declined, but it is unclear whether all socioeconomic groups have benefited equally. Methods Using records from the 1986 National Mortality Followback Survey (n = 13,491) and the 1986 National Health Interview Survey (n = 30,725), we replicated the analysis by Kitagawa and Hauser of differential mortality in 1960. We calculated direct standardized mortality rates and indirect standardized mortality ratios for persons 25 to 64 years of age according to race, sex, income, and family status. Results The inverse relation between mortality and socioeconomic status persisted in 1986 and was stronger than in 1960. The disparity in mortality rates according to income and education increased for men and women, whites and blacks, and family members and unrelated persons. Over the 26-year period, the inequalities according to educational level increased for whites an...

1,517 citations


"Aging and Inequality in Income and ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The gradient has both a life-cycle and a temporal component; differences in mortality across socioeconomic groups are widest in late middle age, Kitigawa and Hauser (1973), Duleep (1995), and Elo and Preston (1996), and are increasing over time, Feldman et al 1989, Pappas et al (1993), and Elo and Preston (1995)....

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