Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Income inequality, social cohesion and the health status of populations: the role of neo-liberalism

Contents:

Author Info

  • Coburn, David
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    There has been a recent upsurge of interest in the relationship between income inequality and health within nations and between nations. On the latter topic Wilkinson and others believe that, in the advanced capitalist countries, higher income inequality leads to lowered social cohesion which in turn produces poorer health status. I argue that, despite a by-now voluminous literature, not enough attention has been paid to the social context of income inequality -- health relationships or to the causes of income inequality itself. In this paper I contend that there is a particular affinity between neo-liberal (market-oriented) political doctrines, income inequality and lowered social cohesion. Neo-liberalism, it is argued, produces both higher income inequality and lowered social cohesion. Part of the negative effect of neo-liberalism on health status is due to its undermining of the welfare state. The welfare state may have direct effects on health as well as being one of the underlying structural causes of social cohesion. The rise of neo-liberalism and the decline of the welfare state are themselves tied to globalization and the changing class structures of the advanced capitalist societies. More attention should be paid to understanding the causes of income inequalities and not just to its effects because income inequalities are neither necessary nor inevitable. Moreover, understanding the contextual causes of inequality may also influence our notion of the causal pathways involved in inequality-health status relationships (and vice versa).

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBF-3YWWYDH-F/2/7f22ef760a458bd9d89f8c9af9be6a7c
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 135-146

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:51:y:2000:i:1:p:135-146

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description

    Order Information:
    Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional
    Web: http://www.elsevier.com/orderme/journalorderform.cws_home/315/journalorderform1/orderooc/id=654&ref=654_01_ooc_1&version=01

    Related research

    Keywords: Income inequality Health inequalities Political economy of health Class and health;

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Hidden costs of the recession
      by Sam Watson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-04-26 10:30:57
    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Shortt, S. E. D., 2004. "Making sense of social capital, health and policy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 11-22, October.
    2. Viladrich, Anahí, 2012. "Beyond welfare reform: Reframing undocumented immigrants’ entitlement to health care in the United States, a critical review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(6), pages 822-829.
    3. Chung, Haejoo & Muntaner, Carles, 2007. "Welfare state matters: A typological multilevel analysis of wealthy countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 328-339, February.
    4. Abdul Karim, Syahirah & Eikemo, Terje A. & Bambra, Clare, 2010. "Welfare state regimes and population health: Integrating the East Asian welfare states," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 45-53, January.
    5. Barbara Seed & Tim Lang & Martin Caraher & Aleck Ostry, 2013. "Integrating food security into public health and provincial government departments in British Columbia, Canada," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 457-470, September.
    6. Carmen Sánchez-Cantalejo & Ricardo Ocana-Riola & Alberto Fernández-Ajuria, 2008. "Deprivation index for small areas in Spain," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 259-273, November.
    7. Raphael, Dennis & Curry-Stevens, Ann & Bryant, Toba, 2008. "Barriers to addressing the social determinants of health: Insights from the Canadian experience," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(2-3), pages 222-235, December.
    8. Zheng, Hui & George, Linda K., 2012. "Rising U.S. income inequality and the changing gradient of socioeconomic status on physical functioning and activity limitations, 1984–2007," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2170-2182.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:51:y:2000:i:1:p:135-146. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.