Influence of socioeconomic status, wealth and financial empowerment on gender differences in health and healthcare utilization in later life: evidence from India
AbstractEmpirical studies from developed countries observe that women report worse health and higher healthcare utilization than men, but the health disadvantage diminishes with age; gender differences in self-rated health often vanish or are reversed in older ages. Comparable assessments of health during later life from developing countries are limited because of the lack of large-scale surveys that include older women. Our study attempts to address the shortage of developing country studies by examining gender differences in health and healthcare utilization among older adults in India. Both ordered and binary logit specifications were used to assess significant gender differences in subjective and objective health, and healthcare utilization after controlling for demographics, medical conditions, traditional indicators of socioeconomic status like education and income, and additional wealth indicators. The wealth indicators, measured by property ownership and economic independence, are regarded as financially empowering older adults to exercise greater control over their health and well-being. Data are drawn from a nationally representative decennial socioeconomic and health survey of 120,942 Indian households conducted during 1995-1996. The study sample comprises 34,086 older men and women aged >=60 years. Our results indicate that older women report worse self-rated health, higher prevalence of disabilities, marginally lower chronic conditions, and lower healthcare utilization than men. The health disadvantage and lower utilization among women cannot be explained by demographics and the differential distribution of medical conditions. While successive controls for education, income, and property ownership narrows the gender gap in both health and healthcare utilization, significant differentials still persist. Upon controlling for economic independence, gender differentials disappear or are reversed, with older women having equal or better health than otherwise similar men. Financial empowerment might confer older women the health advantage reflected in developed societies by enhancing a woman's ability to undertake primary and secondary prevention during the life course.
Download InfoIf 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.
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 InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.
Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
Issue (Month): 9 (May)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Franque Grimard & Sonia Laszlo & Wilfredo Lim, 2008. "Health, Aging And Socio-Economic Conditions In Mexico," Departmental Working Papers 2008-06, McGill University, Department of Economics.
- Channon, Andrew Amos & Andrade, Monica Viegas & Noronha, Kenya & Leone, Tiziana & Dilip, T.R., 2012. "Inpatient care of the elderly in Brazil and India: Assessing social inequalities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2394-2402.
- Grimard, Franque & Laszlo, Sonia & Lim, Wilfredo, 2010. "Health, aging and childhood socio-economic conditions in Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 630-640, September.
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.