The overall objective of this project is to investigate the reasons for the substantial and persistent gradient between socio-economic status (SES) and many dimensions of health status.
The first aim will examine the impact of childhood health on a series of salient later life adult outcomes of SES and labor force activity, including levels and trajectories of education, family income, household wealth, consumption, individual earnings and labor supply. The analysis will be conducted using the unique data in the PSID that collects these SES measures starting with a panel who were originally children and who are now well into their adult years. Since all siblings are also included in the panel, one is also able to control for all unmeasured family and neighborhood background effects. As part of this specific aim,the information available in the PSID that describes health conditions during childhoodwill be greatly expanded.
The second aim will study the pathway from SES to health by examining whether and why future onset of new chronic conditions are related to some important SES markers?levels of household income, wealth, and education?once one conditions of a set of pre-existing demographic and health conditions. In addition, the extent to which 'innovations'in economic status affect health will be examined.
The third aim will explore the extent to which health and innovations in health affect economic status. Health feedbacks to labor supply, household income, consumption, and wealth may be quantitatively quite important and will likely vary considerably by age.This question will be explored by estimating the effect of new health events on a series of subsequent outcomes that are directly and indirectly related toSES.
The final aim examines the relationship between alternative measures of SES and mortality. Using a common analytical strategy of conditioning on past health and SES histories, this component of the project will reexamine the results from the older demographic literature by modeling the influence of economic resources on mortality. Partly induced by the needs of this project, the PSID will expand the completeness of its matched death index information in order to obtain a more complete accounting of those who are alive and in the survey, attrited, or deceased. This expanded information will be placed into the public domain. The leader and principal investigator of this project is James P. Smith.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
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