Cover: The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Health Over the Life-Course

The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Health Over the Life-Course

Published in: The Journal of Human Resources , v. 42, No. 4, Fall 2007, p. 739-764

Posted on rand.org 2007

by James P. Smith

Using data from the PSID, across the life course SES impacts future health outcomes, although the primary influence is education and not an individual's financial resources in whatever form they are received. That conclusion appears to be robust whether the financial resources are income or wealth or whether the financial resources represent new information such as the largely unanticipated wealth that was a consequence of the recent stock market boom. Finally, this conclusion is robust across new health outcomes that take place across the short and intermediate time frames of up to 15 years in the future.

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.