Lost in Translation: Rethinking the Inequality-Equivalence Criteria for Bounded Health Variables
AbstractWhat change in the distribution of a population’s health preserves the level of inequality? The answer to this analogous question in the context of income inequality lies somewhere between a uniform and a proportional change. These polar positions represent the absolute and relative inequality equivalence criterion (IEC), respectively. A bounded health variable may be presented in terms of both health attainments and shortfalls. As a distributional change cannot simultaneously be proportional to attainments and to shortfalls, relative inequality measures may rank populations differently from the two perspectives. In contrast to the literature that stresses the importance of measuring inequality in attainments and shortfalls consistently using an absolute IEC, this chapter formalizes a new compromise concept for a bounded variable by explicitly considering the two relative IECs, defined with respect to attainments and shortfalls, to represent the polar cases of defensible positions. We use a surplus-sharing approach to provide new insights on commonly used inequality indices by evaluating the underpinning IECs in terms of how infinitesimal surpluses of health must be successively distributed to preserve the level of inequality. We derive a one-parameter IEC that, unlike those implicit in commonly used indices, assigns constant weights to the polar cases independent of the health distribution.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013:18.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 29 May 2013
Date of revision: 02 Jan 2014
Publication status: Published as Kjellsson, Gustav and Ulf-G. Gerdtham, 'Lost in Translation: Rethinking the Inequality-Equivalence Criteria for Bounded Health Variables' in Research on Economic Inequality, 2013, pages 3-32.
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/en
More information through EDIRC
health inequality; bounded variable; inequality equivalence criteria;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-06-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2013-06-16 (Health Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2013-06-16 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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.:
- Guido Erreygers & Tom Van Ourti, 2010.
"Measuring Socioeconomic Inequality in Health, Health Care and Health Financing by Means of Rank-Dependent Indices: A Recipe for Good Practice,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
10-076/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Erreygers, Guido & Van Ourti, Tom, 2011. "Measuring socioeconomic inequality in health, health care and health financing by means of rank-dependent indices: A recipe for good practice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 685-694, July.
- Paul Allanson & Dennis Petrie, 2012.
"Understanding the vertical equity judgements underpinning health inequality measures,"
Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics
264, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
- Allanson, Paul & Petrie, Dennis, 2012. "Understanding the vertical equity judgements underpinning health inequality measures," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-06, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
- Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. I," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 416-442, June.
- Clarke, Philip M. & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus & Bingefors, Kerstin & Smith, Len, 2002. "On the measurement of relative and absolute income-related health inequality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(11), pages 1923-1928, December.
- Paul Allanson & Dennis Petrie, 2013. "On The Choice Of Health Inequality Measure For The Longitudinal Analysis Of Income‐Related Health Inequalities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 353-365, 03.
- ERREYGERS, Guido, 2006.
"Correcting the Concentration Index,"
2006027, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
- Bossert, Walter & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "Intermediate inequality: concepts, indices, and welfare implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 117-134, April.
- Guido Erreygers & Tom Van Ourti, 2011. "Putting the cart before the horse. A comment on Wagstaff on inequality measurement in the presence of binary variables," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(10), pages 1161-1165, October.
- Lambert, Peter & Zheng, Buhong, 2011. "On the consistent measurement of attainment and shortfall inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 214-219, January.
- Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Oihana Aristondo, 2010.
"Proposing indicators to measure achievement and shortfall inequality consistently,"
Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series
12010, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
- Lasso de la Vega, Casilda & Aristondo, Oihana, 2012. "Proposing indicators to measure achievement and shortfall inequality consistently," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 578-583.
- Kjellsson, Gustav & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2013. "On correcting the concentration index for binary variables," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 659-670.
- Tateo Yoshida, 2005. "Social welfare rankings of income distributions A new parametric concept of intermediate inequality," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 557-574, 06.
- Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index: A reply to Wagstaff," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 521-524, March.
- Buhong Zheng, 2007. "Unit-Consistent Decomposable Inequality Measures," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 97-111, 02.
- Kolm, Serge-Christophe, 1976. "Unequal inequalities. II," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 82-111, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Edgerton).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.