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Convergence of the Health Status at the Local Level: Empirical Evidence from Austria

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Abstract

In comparisons of the welfare of individuals and socioeconomic aggregates of individuals (regions, states,...) the health status is an important dimension. In the following paper we focus on the question whether the health status between geographical subunits (local communities) converged/diverged in the time period 1969 - 2004 in Austria. We use age standardized mortality rates as indicators for the health status and analyse the convergence/divergence of overall mortality for (i) the whole population, for (ii) females, for (iii) males and for (iv) the gender gap in overall mortality. Convergence/Divergence is studied by applying different concepts of cross-regional inequality (weighted standard deviation, coefficient of variation, Theil- Coefficient of inequality). Various econometric techniques (weighted OLS, Quantile Regression, Kendall’s Rank Concordance) are used to test for absolute and conditional beta-convergence in mortality. We find mixed results for the inequality measures applied. Absolute and conditional beta-convergence are confirmed both in weighted OLS as well as in quantile regression estimations, but we also find strong evidence for the existence of convergence clubs in mortality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2010-09.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2010_09

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Keywords: mortality; convergence; gender; health status; life expectancy; Austria;

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References

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  1. Peter Congdon, 2004. "Modelling Trends and Inequality in Small Area Mortality," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 603-622.
  2. Martin Gächter & Peter Schwazer & Engelbert Theurl, 2010. "Stronger sex but earlier death: A multi-level socioeconomic analysis of gender differences in mortality in Austria," NRN working papers 2010-06, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. France Meslé & Jacques Vallin, 2002. "Mortality in Europe: the Divergence Between East and West," Population (english edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 57(1), pages 157-197.
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  13. Mayer-Foulkes, David, 2001. "Convergence Clubs in Cross-Country Life Expectancy Dynamics," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  14. Boyle, G E & McCarthy, T G, 1997. "A Simple Measure of Beta-Convergence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 59(2), pages 257-64, May.
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  16. Williams, Alan & Cookson, Richard, 2000. "Equity in health," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 35, pages 1863-1910 Elsevier.
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