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Persistence despite action? Measuring the patterns of health inequality in England (1997–2007)

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Author Info

  • Costa Font, Joan
  • Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina
  • McGuire, Alistair

Abstract

The persistence of socioeconomic inequalities in health is a major policy concern in England, which was addressed by the new labour government in 1997 which prioritised curtailing health inequalities as a policy goal. This paper addresses two related questions: first, it empirically examines the dynamic patterns of socioeconomic inequalities in health in England from 1997 to 2007 by estimating concentration indices over three measures of health, namely self-reported health, long standing illness and health limitations, calculated across different years of the Health Survey for England. Second, using regression based decomposition analysis, we explore whether specifically prioritised areas (spearhead local authority areas in the bottom fifth nationally on health indicators) exhibit a different pattern of inequality in the years following a (2005) targeted intervention. Results suggest that patterns of health inequalities in England exhibit no significant variation from 1997 to 2007, although importantly, some reduction on inequalities in health, measured through self-assessed health, is found. Patterns of socioeconomic inequalities in health in spearhead areas are not found to be significantly different than health inequalities in non-spearhead areas.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Health Policy.

Volume (Year): 103 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 149-159

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Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:103:y:2011:i:2:p:149-159

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol

Related research

Keywords: Health inequalities; England; Spearhead areas; Concentration index; Inequality decomposition;

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References

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  1. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Watanabe, Naoko, 2003. "On decomposing the causes of health sector inequalities with an application to malnutrition inequalities in Vietnam," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 207-223, January.
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  3. James P. Smith, 2004. "Unravelling the SES health connection," IFS Working Papers W04/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
  5. Cristina Hernández-Quevedo & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice, 2007. "Persistence in health limitations: a European comparative analysis," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 07/03, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  6. Paul Contoyannis & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice, 2004. "The dynamics of health in the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 473-503.
  7. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
  8. Adam Wagstaff & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2000. "Measuring and Testing for Inequity in the Delivery of Health Care," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 716-733.
  9. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Paci, Pierella, 1989. "Equity in the Finance and Delivery of Health Care: Some Tentative Cross-country Comparisons," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 89-112, Spring.
  10. David Epstein & Dolores Jiménez-Rubio & Peter C. Smith & Marc Suhrcke, 2009. "Social determinants of health: an economic perspective," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 495-502.
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Cited by:
  1. Costa-Font, Joan & Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina, 2012. "Measuring inequalities in health: What do we know? What do we need to know?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 195-206.

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