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The measurement of health inequalities: does status matter?

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919 and Cowell, Frank (2022) The measurement of health inequalities: does status matter? Journal of Economic Inequality, 20 (2). pp. 299-325. ISSN 1569-1721

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10888-021-09497-4


Approaches to measuring health inequalities are often problematic because they use methods that are inappropriate for categorical data. In this paper we focus on “pure” or univariate health inequality (rather than income-related or bivariate health inequality) and use a concept of individual status that allows a consistent treatment of such data. We take alternative versions of the status concept and apply methods for treating categorical data to examine self-assessed health inequality for the countries included in the World Health Survey. We also use regression analysis on the apparent determinants of these health inequality estimates. We show that the status concept that is used will affect health-inequality rankings across countries and the way health inequality is related to countries’ median health, income, demographics and governance.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
H - Public Economics > H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue > H23 - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Date Deposited: 17 May 2021 09:54
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2022 13:24

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