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Trends in the association between average income, poverty and income inequality and life expectancy in Spain

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  • Regidor, Enrique
  • Calle, M. Elisa
  • Navarro, Pedro
  • Domínguez, Vicente
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    Abstract

    In this paper, we study the relation between life expectancy and both average income and measures of income inequality in 1980 and 1990, using the 17 Spanish regions as units of analysis. Average income was measured as average total income per household. The indicators of income inequality used were three measures of relative poverty--the percentage of households with total income less than 25%, 40% and 50% of the average total household income--the Gini index and the Atkinson indices with parameters [alpha]=1, 1.5 and 2. Pearson and partial correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the association between average income and measures of income inequality and life expectancy. None of the correlation coefficients for the association between life expectancy and average household income was significant for men. The association between life expectancy and average household income in women, adjusted for any of the measures of income inequality, was significant in 1980, although this association decreased or disappeared in 1990 after adjusting for measures of poverty. In both men and women, the partial correlation coefficients between life expectancy and the measures of relative income adjusted for average income were positive in 1980 and negative in 1990, although none of them was significant. The results with regard to women confirm the hypothesis that life expectancy in the developed countries has become more dissociated from average income level and more associated with income inequality. The absence of a relation in men in 1990 may be due to the large impact of premature mortality from AIDS in regions with the highest average total income per household and/or smallest income inequality.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 5 (March)
    Pages: 961-971

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:5:p:961-971

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    Keywords: Inequality Income Life expectancy Spain;

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    Cited by:
    1. Chen, Zhuo & Gotway Crawford, Carol A., 2012. "The role of geographic scale in testing the income inequality hypothesis as an explanation of health disparities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(6), pages 1022-1031.
    2. Karlsdotter, Kristina & Martín Martín, José J. & López del Amo González, M. Puerto, 2012. "Multilevel analysis of income, income inequalities and health in Spain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1099-1106.
    3. 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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