Health status and income mobility: an empirical analysis

Type Working Paper
Title Health status and income mobility: an empirical analysis
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
The aim of this paper is to analyze the importance of health in the intergenerational transmission of income and its consequences on poverty. We take into account individual health status as a transmissible factor within generations of the same family. Subsequently, the influence of health status on the accumulation of human capital and on the efficiency of the educational process has been considered. The analysis uses data from the Brazilian Living Standards Survey (Pesquisa sobre Padrões de Vida) that includes an extended set of variables related to health, education and socio-economic characteristics. It also allows for linking parents and children since every member of the family has been surveyed. Results obtained are consistent with two main features. Firstly, child health status is a transmissible factor across generations. Secondly, a poor health status results in the accumulation of low levels of human capital due to reduced incentives for the investment in education and consequent short educational periods, and lower learning capacities of children and reduced returns to education.

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