Social Change and Socioeconomic Disparity in Health over the Life Course: The Case of China

Feinian Chen, North Carolina State University
Yang Yang, University of Chicago
Guangya Liu, North Carolina State University

With the use of a longitudinal dataset (China Health and Nutrition Survey), we examine socioeconomic differentials in health over individuals’ adult life course in China. Further, we study how their health trajectories can be shaped by ongoing socioeconomic transformation and how historical events may leave different imprints on successive cohorts’ life experiences and consequently diverging health outcomes. The study builds on and extends recently developed methodologies on cohort variations in age trajectories of health in the U.S. First, we test the cumulative advantage theory by modeling SES differentials in growth trajectories of health within cohorts (i.e., the age by SES interaction effects net of cohort effects). Second, we test the inter-cohort change hypothesis by modeling variations in SES disparities in trajectories of health across birth cohorts (i.e., three-way interaction effects between cohort, age and SES). Third, we test whether the cohort difference in health disparities is conditioned by rural and urban residence.

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Presented in Session 57: Factors Influencing the Relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Adult Health