Child health and the income gradient: evidence from Australia

Khanam, Rasheda and Nghiem, Hong Son and Connelly, Luke B. (2009) Child health and the income gradient: evidence from Australia. Journal of Health Economics, 28 (4). pp. 805-817. ISSN 0167-6296

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Abstract

The positive relationship between household income and child health is well documented in the child health literature but the precise mechanisms via which income generates better health and whether the income gradient is increasing in child age are not well understood. This paper presents new Australian evidence on the child health-income gradient. We use data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), which involved two waves of data collection for children born between March 2003 and February 2004 (B-Cohort: 0-3 years), and between March 1999 and February 2000 (K-Cohort: 4-7 years). This data set allows us to test the robustness of some of the findings of the influential studies of Case et al. (2002) and J.Currie and Stabile (2003), and a recent study by A.Currie et al. (2007). The richness of the LSAC data set also allows us to conduct further exploration of the determinants of child health. Our results reveal an increasing income gradient by child age using similar covariates to Case et al. (2002). However, the income gradient disappears if we include a rich set of controls. Our results indicate that parental health and, in particular, the mother's health plays a significant role, reducing the income coefficient to zero; suggesting an underlying mechanism that can explain the observed relationship between child health and family income. Overall, our results for Australian children are similar to those produced by Propper et al. (2007) on their British child cohort.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Depositing User: Dr Rasheda Khanam
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2009 05:58
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: child health; income gradient; parental health; nutrition; panel data; Australia
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
14 Economics > 1403 Econometrics > 140304 Panel Data Analysis
16 Studies in Human Society > 1603 Demography > 160301 Family and Household Studies
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920501 Child Health
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2009.05.001
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/5576

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