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Cumulative Advantage Processes as Mechanisms of Inequality in Life Course Health

Citation

Willson, Andrea E.; Shuey, Kim M.; & Elder, Glen H., Jr. (2007). Cumulative Advantage Processes as Mechanisms of Inequality in Life Course Health. American Journal of Sociology, 112(6), 1886-1924.

Abstract

While there is consistent evidence that inequality in economic resources follows a process of cumulative advantage, the application of this framework to another aspect of life course inequality, health, has not produced consensus. This analysis uses longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the over-time relationship between health and socioeconomic status, considering how multiple dimensions of socioeconomic resources and economic history are related to health disparities as people age. The authors find cautious support for path- and duration-dependent processes of cumulative advantage in health. Results suggest that in studies of mechanisms of inequality over time, the cumulative advantage process may appear to be bounded by age because of the disproportionate attrition and mortality of those with low socioeconomic status.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/512712

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2007

Journal Title

American Journal of Sociology

Author(s)

Willson, Andrea E.
Shuey, Kim M.
Elder, Glen H., Jr.