Understanding of the substantial disparity in health between low and high socioeconomic status (SES) groups is hampered by the lack of a suffciently comprehensive theoretical framework to interpret empirical facts and to predict yet untested relations. We present a life-cycle model that incorporates multiple mechanisms explaining (jointly) a large part of the observed disparities in health by SES. In our model, lifestyle factors, working conditions, retirement, living conditions and curative care are mechanisms through which SES, health and mortality are related. Our model predicts a widening and possibly a subsequent narrowing with age of the gradient in health by SES.

age, demand for health, education, health, health capital, labor, lige cycle, medical care, mortality, retirement, socio-economic status
Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving (jel D91), Health: General (jel I10), Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior (jel I12), Labor and Demographic Economics: General (jel J00), Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity (jel J24)
Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute

Galema, T.J, & van Kippersluis, J.L.W. (2010). A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health over the Life Cycle (No. TI 2010-079/3). Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute. Tinbergen Institute. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/20413