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Parental Income and Children's Life Course: Lessons from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics.

  • Author(s): Duncan, Greg J;
  • Kalil, Ariel;
  • Ziol-Guest, Kathleen M
  • et al.

This article reviews how the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) has contributed to our understanding of the links between childhood economic conditions- in particular, the household incomes with very young children-and the economic attainment and health of those children when they reach adulthood. From its beginning, the PSID has provided data useful for addressing intergenerational questions. In the mid-1990s, PSID data supported a series of studies that link early childhood income to early adult attainments, particularly to completed schooling. At the same time, discoveries in neurobiology and epidemiology were beginning to provide details on the processes producing the observed correlations. These discoveries led to a more recent set of PSID-based studies that focus not only on labor market and behavioral outcomes, but also on links between income in the earliest stages of life (including the prenatal period) and adult health. Links between economic disadvantage in childhood and adult health, and the developmental neuroscience underlying those links, are promising areas for future research.

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