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Measuring equity in health: a normative decomposition

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  • Li Donni, P;
  • Peragine, V;
  • Pignataro G;

Abstract

This paper proposes a new approach to the measurement of equality of opportunity in health, based on the path independent Atkinson index of equality. The proposed decomposition is applied both to the ex-ante and the ex-post methodologies recently adopted by the literature. The approach is applied to the measurement of equality of opportunity in health using ten waves of the British Household Panel Survey. Results confirm that socioeconomic background is an important factor determining individual health in adulthood while the incidence of equality of opportunity is around one third of the overall equality according to a substantial stable pattern over years. Our findings also depict that differences in education, in social conditions and in the life style are crucial determinants of the shape of the observed health equalities in adulthood, explaining how potential differences can be derived by the combination of different circumstances.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 11/06.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/06

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Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
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Keywords: Equality of opportunity; health inequalities; Atkinson index; responsibility;

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  1. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2004. "Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 609-628.
  2. Mª Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Marta Urrutia, 2003. "A new factorial decomposition for the atkinson measure," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(29), pages 1-12.
  3. Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Urrutia, 2008. "The ‘Extended’ Atkinson family: The class of multiplicatively decomposable inequality measures, and some new graphical procedures for analysts," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 211-225, June.
  4. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Renault, Eric & Trognon, Alain, 1987. "Generalised residuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 5-32.
  5. Pedro Rosa Dias, 2010. "Modelling opportunity in health under partial observability of circumstances," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 252-264.
  6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2003:i:29:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Mª Casilda Lasso de la Vega & Ana Marta Urrutia, 2005. "Path independent multiplicatively decomposable inequality measures," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 29(2), pages 379-387, May.
  8. Pedro Rosa Dias, 2009. "Inequality of opportunity in health: evidence from a UK cohort study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(9), pages 1057-1074.
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