Economics at your fingertips  

Education and Physical Health Trajectories in Later Life: A Comparative Study

Liliya Leopold ()
Additional contact information
Liliya Leopold: University of Amsterdam

Demography, 2018, vol. 55, issue 3, 901-927

Abstract: Abstract The cumulative (dis)advantage hypothesis states that health disparities between education groups increase with age. The present study examined this hypothesis in a comparative analysis of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Sweden. These countries offer sharp contrasts in the social conditions that may intensify or inhibit processes of cumulative (dis)advantage. Using harmonized panel data from the HRS, ELSA, and SHARE, the study applied Poisson multilevel regression models to trace changes in the number of chronic conditions and functional limitations of people aged 50–76 (N = 16,887 individuals; 71,154 observations). The four countries showed a clear gradient in levels of physical health and in the extent to which health trajectories were shaped by education. Across all ages and cohorts, health problems were most prevalent in the United States, less prevalent in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and least prevalent in Sweden. A similar cross-national gradient was found for the size of health gaps between education groups and for the extent to which these gaps widened with age. Gaps were largest in the United States, smaller in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands, and smallest in Sweden.

Keywords: Education and health; Life course; International comparison (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this article

Demography is currently edited by John D. Iceland, Stephen A. Matthews and Jenny Van Hook

More articles in Demography from Springer, Population Association of America (PAA)
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2019-11-06
Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-018-0674-7