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Health differences between European countries

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  • Olsen, Karen M.
  • Dahl, Svenn-Åge
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    Abstract

    This paper examines self-reported health among individuals in 21 European countries. The purpose is to analyze how both individual- and country-level characteristics influence health. The study is based on data from the European Social Survey (ESS) conducted in 2003 and employs hierarchical modelling (N=38,472). We present three main findings: (1) individual-level characteristics, such as age, education, economic satisfaction, social network, unemployment, and occupational status are related to the health of individuals, both for women and men; (2) we tested how societal features, such as public expenditure on health, socioeconomic development, lifestyle, and social capital (social trust) were related to subjective health. Among the country-level characteristics, socioeconomic development, measured as GDP per capita (logarithm), is the indicator that is most strongly associated with better health, after controlling for individual-level characteristics; (3) the eastern European countries stand out as the countries where individuals report the poorest health. In our models, the individual-level variables explain 60% of the variance between countries, whereas 40% is explained by the macro-level variables.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 64 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 8 (April)
    Pages: 1665-1678

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:64:y:2007:i:8:p:1665-1678

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    Related research

    Keywords: Subjective health Health status Cross-national Individual and societal effects Europe;

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    Cited by:
    1. Jusot, Florence & Tubeuf, Sandy, 2011. "Social health inequalities among older Europeans : the contribution of social and family background," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5401, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. Elena Pirani & Silvana Salvini, 2012. "Place of living and health inequality: a study for elderly Italians," Statistical Methods and Applications, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 211-226, June.
    3. Dolores Jiménez-Rubio & Cristina Hernández-Quevedo, 2011. "Inequalities in the use of health services between immigrants and the native population in Spain: what is driving the differences?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 17-28, February.
    4. Kaare Christensen, 2008. "Human Biodemography: Some challenges and possibilities," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(43), pages 1575-1586, September.
    5. Thierry Debrand & Nicolas Sirven, 2008. "Promoting Social Participation for Healthy Ageing - A Counterfactual Analysis from the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)," Working Papers DT7, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Jan 2008.
    6. Sirven, Nicolas & Debrand, Thierry, 2012. "Social capital and health of older Europeans: Causal pathways and health inequalities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1288-1295.
    7. 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.
    8. Sandy Tubeuf, 2009. "Explaining wealth-related health inequalities in European countries: the contribution of childhood circumstances and adulthood conditions," Working Papers 0902, Academic Unit of Health Economics, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.
    9. Elena Pirani & Silvana Salvini, 2012. "Socioeconomic Inequalities and Self-Rated Health: A Multilevel Study of Italian Elderly," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 97-117, February.
    10. Nelson, Kenneth & Fritzell, Johan, 2014. "Welfare states and population health: The role of minimum income benefits for mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 63-71.
    11. 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.

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