A Theory of Socio-economic Disparities in Health over the Life Cycle

Titus J. Galama*, Hans van Kippersluis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Motivated by the observation that medical care explains only a relatively small part of the socio-economic status (SES)-health gradient, we present a life-cycle model that incorporates several additional behaviours that potentially explain (jointly) a large part of observed disparities. As a result, the model provides not only a conceptual framework for the SES-health gradient but more generally an improved framework for the production of health. We derive novel predictions from the theory by performing comparative dynamic analyses. More generally, our comparative dynamic method can be applied to models of similar form, e.g. human capital, health deficits, firm investment, to name a few.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-374
Number of pages37
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number617
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

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