Type of Publication: Article in Journal

The causal effect of family income on child health in the UK

Kuehnle, Daniel
Title of Journal:
Journal of Health Economics
Volume (Publication Date):
2014 (2014)
Number of Issue:
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
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Recent studies examining the effect of family income on child health have been unable to account for the endogeneity of income. Using data from a British cohort study, we address this gap by exploiting exogenous variation in local labour market characteristics to instrument for family income. We estimate the causal effect of family income on different measures of child health and explore the role of potential transmission mechanisms. We find that income has a very small but significant causal effect on subjective child health and no significant effect on chronic health conditions, apart from respiratory illnesses. Using the panel structure, we show that the timing of income does not matter for young children. Moreover, our results provide further evidence that parental health does not drive a spurious relationship between family income and child health. Our study implies that financial transfers are unlikely to deliver substantial improvements in child health.

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