We examine the effect of family income on child health using data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey. We find a significant child health/family income gradient for the overall sample of Chinese children. Our preferred specification shows that the income gradient increases with child age until the age of 12. We find that parental health consciousness, household sanitation conditions and nutrition intake are the channels through which family income affects child health. After controlling for these transmission channels, the gradient strengthens with child age until the age of 17. We find that children from poorer families in China are not only more likely to experience several types of chronic illnesses, but also less likely to address effectively some health conditions. The income gradient is found to be very heterogeneous, with greater effect on children with poorer health, girls and children in rural China.
- Child health
- Income gradient