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“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?”—Distributional sensitivity in the measurement of socioeconomic inequality of health

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  • Erreygers, Guido
  • Clarke, Philip
  • Van Ourti, Tom

Abstract

This paper explores four alternative indices for measuring health inequalities in a way that takes into account attitudes towards inequality. First, we revisit the extended concentration index which has been proposed to make it possible to introduce changes into the distributional value judgements implicit in the standard concentration index. Next, we suggest an alternative index based on a different weighting scheme. In contrast to the extended concentration index, this new index has the ‘symmetry’ property. We also show how these indices can be generalized so that they satisfy the ‘mirror’ property, which may be seen as a desirable property when dealing with bounded variables. We compare the different indices empirically for under-five mortality rates and the number of antenatal visits in developing countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 257-270

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:257-270

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

Related research

Keywords: Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality; Extended concentration index; Distributional sensitivity; Small-sample bias;

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References

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  1. Wagstaff, Adam, 2002. "Inequality aversion, health inequalities, and health achievement," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2765, The World Bank.
  2. Bleichrodt, Han & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2006. "A welfare economics foundation for health inequality measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 945-957, September.
  3. Meheus, Filip & Van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2008. "Achieving better measles immunization in developing countries: does higher coverage imply lower inequality?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1709-1718, April.
  4. Tom Van Ourti & Philip Clarke, 2011. "A Simple Correction to Remove the Bias of the Gini Coefficient due to Grouping," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 982-994, August.
  5. Adam Wagstaff, 2011. "The concentration index of a binary outcome revisited," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1155-1160, October.
  6. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer & Adam Wagstaff & Magnus Lindelow, 2008. "Analyzing Health Equity Using Household Survey Data : A Guide to Techniques and Their Implementation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6896, October.
  7. Clarke, Philip & Van Ourti, Tom, 2010. "Calculating the concentration index when income is grouped," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 151-157, January.
  8. Kjellsson , Gustav & Gerdtham, Ulf-G, 2011. "Correcting the Concentration Index for Binary Variables," Working Papers, Lund University, Department of Economics 2011:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  9. Mehran, Farhad, 1976. "Linear Measures of Income Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 805-09, July.
  10. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index: A reply to Wagstaff," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 521-524, March.
  11. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
  12. Erreygers, Guido & Van Ourti, Tom, 2011. "Measuring socioeconomic inequality in health, health care and health financing by means of rank-dependent indices: A recipe for good practice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 685-694, July.
  13. Clarke, Philip M. & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus & Bingefors, Kerstin & Smith, Len, 2002. "On the measurement of relative and absolute income-related health inequality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 55(11), pages 1923-1928, December.
  14. Van de Poel, Ellen & O'Donnell, Owen & Van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2007. "Are urban children really healthier? Evidence from 47 developing countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 65(10), pages 1986-2003, November.
  15. Adam Wagstaff, 2005. "The bounds of the concentration index when the variable of interest is binary, with an application to immunization inequality," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 429-432.
  16. ERREYGERS, Guido, 2006. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Working Papers 2006027, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  17. Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jones, Andrew M. & López-Nicolás, Angel & Rice, Nigel, 2006. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: A comparative longitudinal analysis using the European Community Household Panel," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1246-1261, September.
  18. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
  19. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1983. "On an Extension of the Gini Inequality Index," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 617-28, October.
  20. Lerman, Robert I. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1989. "Improving the accuracy of estimates of Gini coefficients," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 43-47, September.
  21. Wagstaff, Adam, 2009. "Correcting the concentration index: A comment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 516-520, March.
  22. Guido Erreygers & Tom Van Ourti, 2011. "Putting the cart before the horse. A comment on Wagstaff on inequality measurement in the presence of binary variables," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1161-1165, October.
  23. Adam Wagstaff, 2011. "Reply to Guido Erreygers and Tom Van Ourti's comment on ‘The concentration index of a binary outcome revisited’," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1166-1168, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Masseria, Cristina, 2013. "Measuring Income-Related Inequalities in Health in Multi-Country Analysis/Midiendo las desigualdades en salud relacionadas con la renta entre países," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 31, pages 455-476, Septiembr.
  2. Cristina Hernández-Quevedo & Cristina Masseria, 2013. "Measuring income-related inequalities in health in multi-country analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 53576, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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