The Impact of SES on Health over the Life-Course

James P. Smith, RAND

Health events very early in life including the early childhood years may have important repercussions for later life adult SES outcomes. In this paper, I explore some of these same issues using some quite unique aspects of the PSID sample structure. As part of its panel structure, the PSID follows all family members of the 1967 panel of respondents as well as any new family members who arrive subsequently. For these PSID panel children and their siblings, the full array of SES measures potentially exist each year not only for both themselves and their parental households from which they came but also for their siblings when they become independent households. Using this data, I estimate the impact of childhood health on several salient SES outcomes during adulthood- completed years of schooling, family income, and individual earnings, all measured in 1999.

Presented in Session 4: Early Life Experiences and Later Life Outcomes