Income Inequality and Individual Health: Exploring the Association in a Developing Country
AbstractWe use individual and multi-level data from Zambia on child nutritional health to test the absolute income hypothesis (AIH), the relative income hypothesis (RIH) and the income inequality hypothesis (IIH). The results confirm a non-linear positive relation between economic resources and health, confirming the AIH. For the RIH we find sensitivity to what reference group is used. Most interestingly, while the IIH predicts that income inequality, independent from individual income, will affect health negatively, we find higher income inequality to robustly associate with better child health. The results suggest that the relationship between inequality and health in developing contexts might be very different from the predominant view in the existing literature mainly based on developed countries, and that alternative mechanisms might mediate the relationship in poor countries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 899.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 20 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
Health; Economic inequality; Zambia;
Other versions of this item:
- Nilsson, Therese & Bergh, Andreas, 2012. "Income Inequality and Individual Health: Exploring the Association in a Developing Country," Working Papers 2012:1, Lund University, Department of Economics.
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- O10 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
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