A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Over the Life Cycle
50 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2010 Last revised: 20 Aug 2010
Date Written: July 16, 2010
Understanding of the substantial disparity in health between low and high socioeconomic status (SES) groups is hampered by the lack of a sufficiently comprehensive theoretical framework to interpret empirical facts and to predict yet untested relations. The authors present a life-cycle model that incorporates multiple mechanisms explaining (jointly) a large part of the observed disparities in health by SES. In their model, lifestyle factors, working conditions, retirement, living conditions and curative care are mechanisms through which SES, health and mortality are related. Their model predicts a widening and possibly a subsequent narrowing with age of the gradient in health by SES.
Keywords: socioeconomic status, education, health, demand for health, health capital, medical care, life cycle, age, labor, retirement, mortality
JEL Classification: D91, I10, I12, J00, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation