Essays on the economic determinants of health and well-being

Costi, Chiara (2023) Essays on the economic determinants of health and well-being. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This thesis provides an in-depth analysis of socioeconomic determinants of individuals’ health and well-being in three key moments of their lives. It contains three pieces of applied work, with each chapter investigating a different longitudinal data set (representative of the US, UK and European populations) while employing several econometric techniques (standard and multiple time periods difference-indifferences models, instrumental variable approaches, structural equation models, propensity score matching and factor analysis). Introduction and conclusions of the thesis are presented in chapter 1 and chapter 4, respectively. Chapter 2 explores the effect of parental socioeconomic status and risky health behaviours on offspring’s infant health. To identify such effects, an intergenerational instrumental variable approach is employed, using grandparents’ education and smoking behaviour as instruments for parental characteristics. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) is analysed, which contains information on three generations followed over time. Chapter 3 looks at a later life stage (adulthood) investigating the impact of providing informal care on caregivers’ mental health during COVID-19. The UK Household Longitudinal Study (Understanding Society) is analysed, employing a mixture of traditional and novel difference-in-differences models combined with matching. Chapter 4 is a methodological work assessing the performance of multiple-item scale scores formed with different weighting structures (i.e. composite indices and latent variables), while exploring correlations between socioeconomic factors and quality of life in older adulthood. Structural equation modelling is employed on data drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The objective of this thesis is to explore socioeconomic factors which affect health and well-being during key periods of individual life-cycle, i.e. childhood, adulthood and older adulthood. This thesis aims at contributing to the literature focused on socioeconomic determinants of health and well-being, employing longitudinal data together with econometric and causal inference methods. The results found in this thesis will inform policymakers to promote timely investments targeting socioeconomic factors enhancing people’s health and well-being in order to create (and maintain) a better functioning and healthier society.

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Thesis (PhD)
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07 Aug 2023 16:10
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:58