Socioeconomic Gradients of Health Using the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, Pilot

John Strauss, University of Southern California
Yaohui Zhao, Peking University
Albert Park, University of Michigan
James P. P. Smith, RAND Corporation
Yan Shen, Peking University

In this paper, we use data from the newly collected China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) pilot to study health of the elderly in China, specifically the gradient of health measures with respect to socioeconomic status (SES). CHARLS is the first publicly-available data set (it will be public by PAA 2009) on the elderly in China that is so broad in its content and designed explicitly after the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its offshoots (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing; Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe; and Korean Longitudinal Survey of Ageing). This paper will be the first study of SES and health using the new CHARLS data. We have just finished collecting the data, covering 1,563 randomly selected households in two provinces, Zhejiang and Gansu. We sampled one person age 45 and over, plus their spouse if one exists, in each household with an age-eligible person. We have data on 2,951 individuals 45 and older and their spouses.

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Presented in Session 140: Aging in Developing Countries