Regional Differences in Socio-Economic Health Inequalities in Spain
UPF Working Paper No. 757
33 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2004
Date Written: May 2004
This paper reports an analysis of income related health inequalities at the Autonomous Community level in Spain using the self assessed health measure in the 2001 edition of the Encuesta Nacional de Salud. We use recently developed methods in order to cardinalise and model self assessed health within a regression framework, decompose the sources of inequality and explain the observed differences across regions. Pais Vasco, Navarra, and La Rioja are the regions with the highest levels of mean health and simultaneously enjoy the lowest degree of income related health inequality. By contrast, Murcia is the least favoured region in that its population report one of the lowest levels of mean health and suffers the greatest degree of income related health inequality. Other territories where income related health inequality is high relative to País Vasco include rich regions such as Madrid, Baleares and Catalonia. The main feature characterizing regions where income related health inequality is low is the absence of a positive gradient between income and health. In turn, the regions where income related health inequality is greater are characterized by a strong and significant positive gradient between health and income. Thus policies aimed at eliminating the gradient between health and income can potentially lead to greater reductions in socio-economic health inequalities than policies aimed at redistributing income.
Keywords: Health inequalities, decomposition analysis, Spain
JEL Classification: D63, I12, C21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation