The Measurement of Health Inequalities: Does Status Matter?

32 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2019

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)

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Abstract

Approaches to measuring health inequalities are often problematic in that they use methods that are inappropriate for categorical data. The approach here focuses on "pure" or univariate health inequality (rather than income-related or bivariate health inequality) and is based on a concept of individual status that allows a consistent treatment of such data. We use several versions of the status concept and apply methods for treating categorical data to examine self-assessed health inequality for the countries contained in the World Health Survey; we also use regression analysis on the apparent determinants of these health inequality estimates. Our findings indicate major differences in health-inequality rankings depending on the status concept. We find evidence that health inequalities vary with median health status alongside indicators of institutional performance.

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

JEL Classification: D63, H23, I18

Suggested Citation

Costa-Font, Joan and Cowell, Frank A., The Measurement of Health Inequalities: Does Status Matter?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12390. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3401157

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)

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