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The evolution of income-related health inequalities in Switzerland over time

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  • Robert E. Leu
  • Martin Schellhorn
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    Abstract

    This paper presents new evidence on income-related health inequality and its development over time in Switzerland. We employ the methods lined out in van Doorslaer and Jones (2003) and van Doorslaer and Koolman (2004) measuring health using an interval regression approach to compute concentration indices and decomposing inequality into its determining factors. Nationally representative survey data for 1982, 1992, 1997 and 2002 are used to carry out the analysis. Looking at each of the four years separately the results indicates the usual positive relationship between income and health, but the distribution is among the least unequal in Europe. No clear trend emerges in the evolution of the inequality indices over the two decades. Inequality is somewhat lower in 1982 and 1992 as compared to 1997 and 2002 but the differences are not significant. The most important contributors to health inequality are income, education and activity status, in particular retirement. Regional differences including the widely varying health care supply, by contrast, do not exert any systematic influence

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft in its series Diskussionsschriften with number dp0414.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ube:dpvwib:dp0414

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    Keywords: Inequalities in health; concentration index; decomposition analysis;

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    1. Robert E. Leu & Martin Schellhorn, 2004. "The evolution of income-related inequalities in health care utilization in Switzerland over time," Diskussionsschriften dp0413, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    2. 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.
    3. Erik SCHOKKAERT & Carine VAN DE VOORDE, 2000. "Risk Selection and the Specification of the Conventional Risk Adjustment Formula," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0011, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiƫn.
    4. Jones, Andrew M., 2000. "Health econometrics," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 265-344 Elsevier.
    5. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman & Andrew M. Jones, 2004. "Explaining income-related inequalities in doctor utilisation in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 629-647.
    6. Leu, Robert E. & Schellhorn, Martin, 2004. "The Evolution of Income-Related Inequalities in Health Care Utilization in Switzerland over Time," IZA Discussion Papers 1316, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
    8. Martin Schellhorn, 2001. "The effect of variable health insurance deductibles on the demand for physician visits," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(5), pages 441-456.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bilger, Marcel, 2008. "Progressivity, horizontal inequality and reranking caused by health system financing: A decomposition analysis for Switzerland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1582-1593, December.

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