The intergenerational transmission of health in early childhood


Coneus, Katja ; Spieß, Christa Katharina


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URL: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/2108
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-21081
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2008
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: I1 I12 J13 ,
Subject headings (SWD): Deutschland , Kind , Gesundheitsgefährdung , Gesundheit , Familiensoziologie , Generationsbeziehung
Keywords (English): Intergenerational transmission , child health , parental health , early childhood
Abstract: The prevalence and importance of children's physical health problems have been increasingly recognized in recent years. Physical health problems of children such as obesity, motor impairment and chronic diseases cause social costs. Further, they can lead directly to adult physical health problems, which cause additional social costs. This paper examines the intergenerational link and transmission of both maternal and paternal health on children's health in Germany. We investigate this issue using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), making particular use of the mother and child questionnaires. These data allow us to capture a broad set of health measures: anthropometric, self-rated health and "more objective" health measures. The results indicate significant relationships between parental and child health in the first and third year of life. In order to take into account the endogeneity of parental health, we estimate fixed effect models. Overall, we find, controlling for parental income, education and family composition, that parents who experience poor health have children with significantly poorer health. For example, the father's body mass index (BMI) is a predictor for their children's BMI. Mothers who consider their health as good, have also healthier children.
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Coneus, Katja ; Spieß, Christa Katharina (2008) The intergenerational transmission of health in early childhood. Open Access [Working paper]
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