Working Paper

Optimal indicators of socioeconomic status for health research

Abstract: Objectives: This paper examines the relationship between various measures of SES and mortality for a representative sample of individuals. ; Methods: Data are from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Sample includes 3,734 individuals aged 45 and above who participated in the 1984 interview. Mortality was tracked between 1984 and 1994 and is related to SES indicators using Cox event-history regression models. ; Results: Wealth has the strongest associations with subsequent mortality, and these associations differ little by age and sex. Other economic measures, especially family-size-adjusted household income, have significant associations with mortality, particularly for nonelderly women. ; Conclusions: By and large, the economic components of SES have associations with mortality that are at least as strong as, and often stronger than, more conventional components (e.g., completed schooling, occupation).

Keywords: Income distribution;

Access Documents

File(s): File format is application/pdf


Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Part of Series: Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory

Publication Date: 1999

Number: 99-03