Intergenerational Health Inequalities in Morbidity and Mortality

health

Funded by: John Fell Fund (OUP)

Start date: September 2017

End date: August 2018

Project outline

Findings from social stratification and public health literature suggest that intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status and health-related behaviours might have significant consequences for individuals’ morbidity and mortality outcomes. However, research on this topic yields mixed findings. The latter might be a consequence of the different ways in which intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status and health-related behaviours has been operationalized and analysed in the empirical literature.

Those scholars who study the effect of social mobility on health outcomes usually do not consider the intergenerational transmission of health-related behaviours. On other hand, the available literature suggests that to identify the intergenerational transmission of health-related behaviours, empirical studies should adequately account for socioeconomic status in each generation. Another limitation of the existing scholarship is that intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status is usually studied separately with the measure of education, social class, occupational status or income.

The intergenerational mobility in these indicators of socioeconomic status can have different meanings and must be accounted for in empirical research. In addition to addressing these shortcomings, to understand how intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status is related to health outcomes, unlike the conventional approach in public health, this project disentangles the effects of the social position of origin, the social position of destination and social mobility itself.

The Fell Fund award will be used to assemble micro-level comparative and country-specific longitudinal datasets on intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status, health-related behaviours and morbidity and mortality outcomes. The generated datasets will be instrumental to conduct tentative analyses, present and discuss at a peer-reviewed conference and workshop, and to develop and submit a major research grant.

 

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