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 Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012:1.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 08 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/
More information through EDIRC
Income Inequality; Health; Developing Countries;
Other versions of this item:
- Nilsson, Therese & Bergh, Andreas, 2012. "Income Inequality and Individual Health: Exploring the Association in a Developing Country," Working Paper Series 899, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
- I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
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- Leigh, Andrew & Jencks, Christopher, 2006. "Inequality and Mortality: Long-Run Evidence from a Panel of Countries," Working Paper Series rwp06-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Miller, Douglas L. & Paxson, Christina, 2006.
"Relative income, race, and mortality,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 979-1003, September.
- Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Leeson, George, 2009.
"Income Inequality and Health: Importance of a Cross-Country Perspective,"
Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute of Economics (VWL)
37747, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
- Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Leeson, George, 2010. "Income inequality and health: Importance of a cross-country perspective," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 875-885, March.
- Behrman, Jere R., 1988. "Nutrition, health, birth order and seasonality : Intrahousehold allocation among children in rural India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 43-62, February.
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