Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 231–249 | Cite as

Does parents’ valuation of children’s health mimic their valuation of own health?

  • Mark D. AgeeEmail author
  • Thomas D. Crocker
Original Paper


A single latent variable model of health status and therapeutic health care utilization is estimated for parents and own children of 6,557 US households. The equation system that identifies latent health status simultaneously determines a number of indicators of general health, including presence of morbidity symptoms, mobility limitations, medication needs, and utilization of therapeutic health care services. The main goal of the paper was to obtain an unbiased estimate of parents’ marginal substitution rate between own and child health. Results indicate that parents’ valuation of their children’s health exceeds their valuation of own health by almost twofold on average.


Health valuation Parents and children MIMIC model 

JEL Classification

I12 Q51 



Insights and comments from two anonymous referees, Scott Atkinson, Karen Conway, and workshop participants at the University of Georgia are gratefully acknowledged. The US Environmental Protection Agency financially supported the research efforts through grant #R82871601. However, the research has not been subjected to the Agency’s required peer and policy review and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsThe Pennsylvania State UniversityAltoonaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics & FinanceUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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