Examining the Impact of Maternal Health, Race, and Socioeconomic Status on Daughter's Self-Rated Health Over Three Decades.
The research on education points to significant inter-generational transmission which likely contributes to the inter-generational transmission of earnings and income. This paper addresses the question of whether another form of human capital, health, also provides similar insight in understanding mobility of earnings. Using NLSY, we first present new evidence on intergenerational transmission of health outcomes including weight, height, the body mass index, depression and asthma for both natives and immigrants. We show that both native and immigrant children inherit a prominent fraction of their health status from their parents. Next, we also find that mother’s education decreases child’s weight and the body mass index for natives, while single motherhood increases weight and BMI of children for both natives and immigrants. Taken together, these findings suggest that along with inter-generational correlation in education, persistence in health also contributes to the inter-generational transmission of economics.