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Socioeconomic status and child health: What is the role of health care utilization?

TitleSocioeconomic status and child health: What is the role of health care utilization?
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAllin, S., and Stabile M.
JournalMunk School of Global Affairs Working Papers Series
Abstract

There is a persistent relationship between socio-economic status and health that appears to have its roots in childhood. Not only do children in families with lower incomes and with mothers with lower levels of education have worse health on average than those with greater socio-economic advantages, but also the gradient appears to steepen with age. This study contributes to the literature on socio-economic status and child health by testing the hypothesis that the increasing effect of family income on children's health with age relates to their use of health care services. Drawing on a nationally representative survey from Canada, the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, this study provides further evidence of a steepening gradient in child health. It finds that accounting for health care use does not explain the steepening gradient and that the relationship between income and health care use is greater among higher income families.

URLhttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1942730