Inequality of Opportunities in Health in Europe: Why So Much Difference Across Countries?
AbstractAmong inequalities in health, those which are explained by circumstances during childhood or parents' characteristics are recognized as inequalities of opportunities in health and are considered as the most unfair. Tackling health inequalities in later life and improving the underlying socioeconomic determinants for older people is at the core of the European Union healthy-ageing strategy. We use the 2004 Survey on Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe and examine the influence of social and family background on the probability of reporting a good self-assessed health in adulthood using logistic models in ten European countries. The comparison of the odds ratios associated with family background without and with adjustment for individual educational level and occupation allows assessing the direct influence of family background and its influence through the determination of individual social status. Using the Gini index, we evaluate the magnitude of inequalities of opportunities in health, regardless of the mechanism of transmission and consider it in comparison with several indicators of economic and sanitary conditions. Inequalities of opportunity are more marked in Mediterranean and Germanic countries than in Nordic and Benelux countries. For instance, they are twice more important in Spain than in Sweden. Whereas they are mainly explained by social reproduction in most countries a direct effect of fathers' occupation on adult health remains in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Spain. There are country-specific protective social backgrounds: son of agricultural workers in Belgium, and son of technicians or fathers in armed forces in Spain. Parents' longevity has a significant protective effect on adult health. Differences in inequalities of opportunities in health between European countries emphasize the importance of policies reducing either social reproduction or intergenerational reproduction of health.
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 HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 10/26.
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
More information through EDIRC
Europe; equality of opportunity; inequality in health; intergenerational transmission; older adults; Gini index;
Other versions of this item:
- Trannoy, Alain & Tubeuf, Sandy & Jusot, Florence, 2010. "Inequality of Opportunities in Health in Europe : Why So Much Difference Across Countries ?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/7032, Paris Dauphine University.
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2011-01-03 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2011-01-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-EUR-2011-01-03 (Microeconomic European Issues)
- NEP-HEA-2011-01-03 (Health Economics)
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.:
- repec:ese:iserwp:2005-15 is not listed on IDEAS
- Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999.
"Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
- Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," NBER Working Papers 6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Trannoy, A & Tubeuf, S & Jusot, F & Devaux, M, 2008.
"Inequality in Opportunities in Health in France: A first pass,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
08/24, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Alain Trannoy & Sandy Tubeuf & Florence Jusot & Marion Devaux, 2010. "Inequality of opportunities in health in France: a first pass," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 921-938, August.
- Trannoy, Alain & Tubeuf, Sandy & Jusot, Florence & Devaux, Marion, 2010. "Inequality of Opportunities in Health in France: A First Pass," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/268, Paris Dauphine University.
- Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006.
"Inequality of opportunities vs. inequality of outcomes: Are Western societies all alike?,"
54, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
- Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2008. "Inequality Of Opportunities Vs. Inequality Of Outcomes: Are Western Societies All Alike?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 513-546, December.
- Ahlburg, Dennis, 1998. "Intergenerational Transmission of Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 265-70, May.
- FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, .
"Unfair inequalities in health and health care,"
CORE Discussion Papers RP
-2141, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Xander Koolman & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2004. "On the interpretation of a concentration index of inequality," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 649-656.
- Melchior, Maria & Lert, France & Martin, Magali & Ville, Isabelle, 2006. "Socioeconomic position in childhood and in adulthood and functional limitations in midlife: Data from a nationally-representative survey of French men and women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(11), pages 2813-2824, December.
- Sermet, Catherine & Tubeuf, Sandy & Devaux, Marion & Jusot, Florence, 2008. "Hétérogénéité sociale de déclaration de l’état de santé et mesure des inégalités de santé," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/423, Paris Dauphine University.
- Cristina Hernández Quevedo & Andrew M Jones & Ángel López Nicolás & Nigel Rice, 2005.
"Socioeconomic inequalities in health: a comparative longitudinal analysis using the European Community Household Panel,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
05/12, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jones, Andrew M. & López-Nicolás, Angel & Rice, Nigel, 2006. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: A comparative longitudinal analysis using the European Community Household Panel," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1246-1261, September.
- Hertzman, Clyde & Power, Chris & Matthews, Sharon & Manor, Orly, 2001. "Using an interactive framework of society and lifecourse to explain self-rated health in early adulthood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(12), pages 1575-1585, December.
- Sun, Jiawei & Ma, Chao & Song, Ze & Gu, Hai, 2013. "Inequality of Opportunity in Health Care in China: Suggestion on the Construction of the Urban-Rural Integrated Medical Insurance System," MPRA Paper 49389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Rawlings).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.