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Working Paper, No. 2018-02, 2018
Intergenerational Health Mobility in the US (REVISED January 2019)

We present the first broad-based estimates of intergenerational health mobility in the US by using repeated measures of self-reported health status (SRHS) from the PSID. Our main finding is that there is substantially greater health mobility than income mobility in the US. A possible explanation is that social institutions and policies are more effective at disrupting intergenerational health transmission than income transmission. We also characterize heterogeneity in health mobility by child gender, parent gender, race, education, geography and health insurance coverage in childhood. We use a rich set of background characteristics to highlight potential mechanisms leading to intergenerational health persistence.

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