Health and Income Across the Life Cycle and Generations in Europe

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 2008-009/3

37 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2008

See all articles by Hans van Kippersluis

Hans van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Tom Van Ourti

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR); Tinbergen Institute

Owen A. O'Donnell

University of Macedonia

Eddy van Doorslaer

Erasmus School of Economics

Date Written: January 2008

Abstract

An age-cohort decomposition applied to panel data identifies how the mean, overall inequality and income-related inequality of self-assessed health evolve over the life cycle and differ across generations in 11 EU countries. There is a moderate and steady decline in mean health until the age of 70 or so and a steep acceleration in the rate of health deterioration beyond that age. In southern European countries and in Ireland, which have experienced the greatest changes in economic and social development, the average health of younger generations is significantly better than that of older generations. This is not observed in the northern European countries. In almost all countries, health is more dispersed among older generations indicating that Europe has experienced a reduction in overall health inequality over time. Although there is no consistent evidence that health inequality increases as a given cohort ages, this is true in the three largest countries - Britain, France and Germany. In the former two countries and the Netherlands, at least for males, the income gradient in health peaks around retirement age, as has been found for the US, but this pattern is not observed in the other countries. In most European countries, unlike the US, there is no evidence that income-related health inequality is greater among younger than older generations.

Keywords: Health, Health inequality, Life cycle, Cohort

JEL Classification: D30, D31, I10, I12

Suggested Citation

van Kippersluis, Hans and Van Ourti, Tom and O'Donnell, Owen A. and van Doorslaer, Eddy, Health and Income Across the Life Cycle and Generations in Europe (January 2008). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. 2008-009/3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1086587 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1086587

Hans Van Kippersluis (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Tom Van Ourti

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Owen A. O'Donnell

University of Macedonia ( email )

156 Egnatia St.
P.O. 1591
Thessaloniki, 54006
Greece

Eddy Van Doorslaer

Erasmus School of Economics ( email )

Netherlands

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