The Measurement of Health Inequalities: Does Status Matter?

37 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2016

See all articles by Joan Costa-Font

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Frank Cowell

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2017

Abstract

The measurement of health inequalities usually involves either estimating the concentration of health outcomes using an income-based measure of status or applying conventional inequality measurement tools to a health variable that is non-continuous or, in many cases, categorical. However, these approaches are problematic as they ignore less restrictive approaches to status. The approach in this paper is based on measuring inequality conditional on an individual’s position in the distribution of health outcomes: this enables us to deal consistently with categorical data. We examine several status concepts to examine self-assessed health inequality using the sample of world countries contained in the World Health Survey. We also perform correlation and regression analysis on the determinants of inequality estimates assuming an arbitrary cardinalisation. Our findings indicate major heterogeneity in health inequality estimates depending on the status approach, distributional-sensitivity parameter and measure adopted. We find evidence that pure health inequalities vary with median health status alongside measures of government quality.

Keywords: health inequality, categorical data, entropy measures, health surveys, upward status, downward status

JEL Classification: D630, H230, I180

Suggested Citation

Costa-Font, Joan and Cowell, Frank A., The Measurement of Health Inequalities: Does Status Matter? (April 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6117. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2871127

Joan Costa-Font (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://joancostaifont.org/

Frank A. Cowell

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 (0)171-955 7277 (Phone)
+44 (0)171-242 2357 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
73
Abstract Views
354
rank
324,006
PlumX Metrics