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The impact of income inequality on individual and societal health: absolute income, relative income and statistical artefacts

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Author Info

  • John Wildman

    (Centre for Health Program Evaluation, Monash University, West Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia)

Abstract

The relative income hypothesis, that relative income has a direct effect on individual health, has become an important part of the literature on health inequalities. This paper presents a four-quadrant diagram, which shows the effect of income, relative income and aggregation bias on individual and societal health. The model predicts that increased income inequality reduces average health regardless of whether relative income affects individual health. If relative income does have a direct effect then societal health will decrease further. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.613
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 357-361

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:10:y:2001:i:4:p:357-361

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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References

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  1. Hey, John D & Lambert, Peter J, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-73, November.
  2. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
  3. Culyer, A. J. & Wagstaff, Adam, 1993. "Equity and equality in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 431-457, December.
  4. Gravelle, Hugh & Wildman, John & Sutton, Matthew, 2002. "Income, income inequality and health: what can we learn from aggregate data?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 577-589, February.
  5. Waldmann, Robert J, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-302, November.
  6. Paul Contoyannis & Martin Forster, 1999. "'Our healthier nation'?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 289-296.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wildman, John, 2003. "Income related inequalities in mental health in Great Britain: analysing the causes of health inequality over time," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 295-312, March.
  2. Sun, Ping & Unger, Jennifer B. & Palmer, Paula & Ma, Huiyan & Xie, Bin & Sussman, Steve & Johnson, C. Anderson, 2012. "Relative income inequality and selected health outcomes in urban Chinese youth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 84-91.
  3. Jennifer Franz & Felix R. FitzRoy, 2005. "Child mortaility, poverty and environment in developing countries," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200518, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  4. David Cantarero & Marta Pascual & Jose Maria Sarabia, 2004. "Can income inequality contribute to understand inequalities in health? An empirical approach based on the European Community Household Panel," ERSA conference papers ersa04p230, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Wildman, John, 2003. "Modelling health, income and income inequality: the impact of income inequality on health and health inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 521-538, July.
  6. Frijters, Paul & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Shields, Michael A., 2005. "The causal effect of income on health: Evidence from German reunification," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 997-1017, September.
  7. John Wildman & Hugh Gravelle & Matthew Sutton, 2003. "Health and income inequality: attempting to avoid the aggregation problem," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(9), pages 999-1004.
  8. Yongzheng Liu & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2010. "The Growth-Inequality Tradeo in the Design of Tax Structure: Evidence from a Large Panel of Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1320, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  9. Semyonov, Moshe & Lewin-Epstein, Noah & Maskileyson, Dina, 2013. "Where wealth matters more for health: The wealth–health gradient in 16 countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 10-17.

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