Keywords: social inequalities in health; self-assessed health; temporal dynamics of the educational gradient in health; Echp data; growth curves.
Despite great improvements in the quality and the duration of life,
many studies have shown the persistence of social inequalities in health
in European countries. Previous explanations in this domain usually assume this gradient to be constant across time and are based on data and
models that are unable to correctly estimate what is essentially a developmental
process. Different hypotheses regarding the relationship over
time between health and socio-economic status (Ses) have been proposed.
This work uses longitudinal data from the European household
panel in order to examine individual health trajectories over time and to
understand whether the protective effects of Ses on health varies with
age. Our results suggest a reduction of the heterogeneity in the individual
health trajectories across education and income as people age, although
data limitations suggest some caution.