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Health and income: A robust comparison of Canada and the US

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  • Jean-Yves Duclos

    ()
    (CIRPÉE and Département d’économique, Université Laval)

  • Damien Echevin

    ()
    (GREDI, Département d'économique, Université de Sherbrooke)

Abstract

This paper uses sequential stochastic dominance procedures to compare the joint distribution of health and income across space and time. It is the first application of which we are aware of methods to compare multidimensional distributions of income and health using procedures that are robust to aggregation techniques. The paper’s approach is more general than comparisons of health gradients and does not require the estimation of health equivalent incomes. We illustrate the approach by contrasting Canada and the US using comparable data. Canada dominates the US over the lower bi-dimensional well-being distribution of health and income, though not generally in terms of the marginal distribution of health. The paper also finds that well-being for both Canadians and Americans has not generally improved during the last decade over the joint distribution of income and health, in spite of the fact that the marginal distributions of income have improved during that period.

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File URL: http://gredi.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wpapers/GREDI-0808.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 08-08.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:08-08

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Keywords: Health inequality; Self-reported health status; Income distribution; Stochastic dominance; Social welfare;

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References

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  1. Atkinson, A B, 1992. "Measuring Poverty and Differences in Family Composition," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 1-16, February.
  2. Fleurbaey, Marc & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "Unfair inequalities in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 73-90, January.
  3. Angus Deaton, 2001. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 8318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2000. "Chapter 34 Equity in health care finance and delivery," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 34, pages 1803-1862 Elsevier.
  5. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
  6. David M. Cutler & Angus S. Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," NBER Working Papers 11963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Doorslaer, Eddy van & Jones, Andrew M., 2003. "Inequalities in self-reported health: validation of a new approach to measurement," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-87, January.
  8. Allison, R. Andrew & Foster, James E., 2004. "Measuring health inequality using qualitative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 505-524, May.
  9. Jenkins, Stephen P & Lambert, Peter J, 1993. "Ranking Income Distributions When Needs Differ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 337-56, December.
  10. Bommier, Antoine & Stecklov, Guy, 2002. "Defining health inequality: why Rawls succeeds where social welfare theory fails," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 497-513, May.
  11. Humphries, K.H. & Van Doorslaer, E., 1998. "Income-Related Health Inequality in Canada," Centre for Health Services and Policy Research 98:10d, University of British Columbia - Centre for Health Services and Policy Research..
  12. Deaton, A., 1998. "Aging and Inequality in Income and Health," Papers 181, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  13. Paul Contoyannis & Martin Forster, . "The Distribution of Health and Income: A Theoretical Framework," Discussion Papers 98/22, Department of Economics, University of York.
  14. O'Neill June E & O'Neill Dave M, 2008. "Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-45, April.
  15. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Hussain, M. Azhar & Jørgensen, Mette Møller & Østerdal, Lars Peter, 2014. "Refining Population Health Comparisons: A Multidimensional First Order Dominance Approach," COHERE Working Paper 2014:5, COHERE - Centre of Health Economics Research, University of Southern Denmark.
  2. FLEURBAEY, Marc & SHOKKAERT, Erik, . "Equity in health and health care," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2373, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. David Madden, 2013. "Health and Wealth on the Roller-Coaster: Ireland, 2003-2011," Working Papers 201305, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.

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