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Income Inequality and Self-Rated Health Status: Evidence from the European Community Household Panel

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  • Vincent Hildebrand
  • Philippe Van Kerm

Abstract

We examine the effect of income inequality on individual self-rated health status in a pooled sample of 10 member states of the European Union using longitudinal data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) survey. Taking advantage of the longitudinal and cross-national nature of our data, and carefully modelling the self-reported health information, we avoid several of the pitfalls suffered by earlier studies on this topic. We calculate income inequality indices measured at two standard levels of geography (NUTS-0 and NUTS-1) and find consistent evidence that income inequality is negatively related to self-rate health status in the European Union for both men and women. However, despite its statistical significance, the magnitude of the impact on inequality on health is small.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 127.

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Length: 70 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:127

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Keywords: self-rated health; income inequality; European Union; panel data;

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References

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  1. Frank A. Cowell & Emmanuel Flachaire, 2007. "Income distribution and inequality measurement: The problem of extreme values," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00176029, HAL.
  2. Franco Peracchi, 2002. "The European Community Household Panel: A review," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 63-90.
  3. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 209, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  4. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
  5. Atkinson, Tony & Cantillon, Bea & Marlier, Eric & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253494.
  6. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Re-Examining the Evidence of an Ecological Association between Income Inequality and Health," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9922, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  7. 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.
  8. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1999. "Mortality, Education, Income, and Inequality among American Cohorts," NBER Working Papers 7140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey D. Milyo, 2001. "Income inequality and health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 151-155.
  10. 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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Cited by:
  1. Bakshi, Sanjeev & Pathak, Prasanta, 2010. "What makes them feel healthier? the correlates of self-perceived health among older adults in India," MPRA Paper 40541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Cooper, D. & McCausland, W.D. & Theodossiou, I., 2006. "The health hazards of unemployment and poor education: The socioeconomic determinants of health duration in the European Union," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 273-297, December.
  3. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-36 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Böckerman, Petri & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2007. "Unemployment and self-assessed health: Evidence from panel data," MPRA Paper 1798, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Modrek, Sepideh & Dow, William H. & Rosero-Bixby, Luis, 2012. "Long-term association of economic inequality and mortality in adult Costa Ricans," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 158-166.
  7. Tom Van Ourti & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2006. "The Effect of Growth and Inequality in Incomes on Health Inequality: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the European Panel," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-108/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Fusco, Alessio & Dickes, Paul, 2006. "Rasch Model and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-02, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  9. Cristina Blanco-Perez, 2012. "Rethinking the Relative Income Hypothesis," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 501, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Böckerman, Petri, 2010. "Top income shares and mortality: Evidence from advanced countries," MPRA Paper 19970, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Van Kerm, Philippe, 2006. "Comparisons of income mobility profiles," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  12. Van Ourti, Tom & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Koolman, Xander, 2009. "The effect of income growth and inequality on health inequality: Theory and empirical evidence from the European Panel," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 525-539, May.

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