Ex Ante Inequality of Opportunity in Health Among the Elderly in China: A Distributional Decomposition Analysis of Biomarkers

50 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2020

See all articles by Lanlin Ding

Lanlin Ding

Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU)

Andrew M. Jones

University of York - Department of Economics and Related Studies; Monash University - Centre for Health Economics

Peng Nie

Xi'an Jiaotong University

Abstract

We present a comprehensive analysis of ex ante inequality of opportunity (IOp) in health among Chinese adults aged 60+ and decompose the contributions of different sets of circumstances. Data are drawn from the 2011 and 2015 waves of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) linked with the 2014 CHARLS Life History Survey. We use a range of blood-based biomarkers, and apply a re-centered influence function (RIF) approach and a Shapley-Shorrocks decomposition to partition the contribution of circumstances across different quantiles of the biomarker distributions. We find that IOp accounts for between 3.75% and 29.57% of total health inequality in old age across the range of biomarkers. Shapley-Shorrocks decompositions show that spatial circumstances such as urban/rural residence and province of residence are the dominant determinants of IOp for most of the biomarkers. Distributional decompositions further reveal that the relative contributions to IOp in health of household socioeconomic status and health and nutrition conditions in childhood increase towards the right tails of the distribution for most of the biomarkers, where the clinical risk is focused.

Keywords: biomarkers, CHARLS, China, inequality of opportunity, Shapley-Shorrocks decomposition, unconditional quantile regressions

JEL Classification: D63, I12, I14

Suggested Citation

Ding, Lanlin and Jones, Andrew M. and Nie, Peng, Ex Ante Inequality of Opportunity in Health Among the Elderly in China: A Distributional Decomposition Analysis of Biomarkers. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3614240 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3614240

Lanlin Ding (Contact Author)

Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU)

26 Xianning W Rd.
Xi'an Jiao Tong University
Xi'an, Shaanxi 710049
China

Andrew M. Jones

University of York - Department of Economics and Related Studies ( email )

Heslington
York, YO1 5DD
United Kingdom
+44-1904-43 3766 (Phone)

Monash University - Centre for Health Economics ( email )

Building 75, 15 Innovation Walk
Monash University
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

Peng Nie

Xi'an Jiaotong University ( email )

No. 74 Yanta West Road
Xi'an, 710061
China

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