Cumulative Advantage in Wealth and Health?: The Role of SES in Racial Health Inequality across the Life Course
Courtney Boen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research documents that the racial patterning of socioeconomic status (SES) in the U.S. is a key determinant of racial health disparities. However, previous research on the role of SES in racial health inequality has been limited by the inadequacy of standard SES measures to fully reflect racial differences in economic well-being. Utilizing more than twenty years of longitudinal data, this paper assesses the roles of wealth and duration of exposure to economic advantage or deprivation in producing racial health disparities across the life course. Findings reveal that, net of income and education, wealth and duration of exposure to economic advantage or deprivation have significant impacts on health. Additionally, accounting for wealth and duration exposure of to economic conditions significantly reduces the magnitude of the racial health gap, suggesting that excluding these measures from analytic models could result in the residual confounding of race and SES.
Presented in Poster Session 9