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The social gradient in health: The effect of absolute income and subjective social status assessment on the individual's health in Europe

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  • Theodossiou, I.
  • Zangelidis, A.

Abstract

Using data on individuals aged between 50 and 65 from 6 European countries, this study investigates the effect of absolute income and subjective social status assessment on health in the light of medical evidence indicating that the individual's position in the social hierarchy undermines his/her mental and physical health. The paper shows that individuals' own income has a positive, but modest effect on health. Importantly, subjective social status assessment has a significant effect on all health measurements. Finally, the results show that individuals from deprived families (when at the age of 14) have poorer physical and mental health.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodossiou, I. & Zangelidis, A., 2009. "The social gradient in health: The effect of absolute income and subjective social status assessment on the individual's health in Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 229-237, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:7:y:2009:i:2:p:229-237
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hahn, Jinyong & Hausman, Jerry, 2002. "Notes on bias in estimators for simultaneous equation models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 237-241, April.
    2. Martelin, Tuija, 1994. "Mortality by indicators of socioeconomic status among the finnish elderly," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 1257-1278.
    3. Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 1768-1784.
    4. Goldman, Noreen & Korenman, Sanders & Weinstein, Rachel, 1995. "Marital status and health among the elderly," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 1717-1730.
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    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:7:1151-1157_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Stephen Wu, 2003. "The Effects of Health Events on the Economic Status of Married Couples," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
    8. Ecob, Russell & Davey Smith, George, 1999. "Income and health: what is the nature of the relationship?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 693-705.
    9. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    10. Theodossiou, I., 1998. "The effects of low-pay and unemployment on psychological well-being: A logistic regression approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 85-104, January.
    11. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2015. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 129-142.
    2. Amélie Adeline & Eric Delattre, 2017. "Some microeconometric evidence on the relationship between health and income," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 1-18, December.
    3. Blázquez Cuesta, Maite & Budría, Santiago, 2015. "The Effects of Over-Indebtedness on Individual Health," IZA Discussion Papers 8912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:bla:ijhplm:v:32:y:2017:i:4:p:e279-e298 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Cuesta, Maite Blázquez & Budría, Santiago, 2015. "Income deprivation and mental well-being: The role of non-cognitive skills," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, pages 16-28.
    6. Maite Blázquez & Elena Cottini & Ainhoa Herrarte, 2014. "The socioeconomic gradient in health: how important is material deprivation?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(2), pages 239-264, June.
    7. Cristina Blanco-Perez, 2012. "Rethinking the Relative Income Hypothesis," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 501, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    8. Maite Blázquez Cuesta & Santiago Budría, 2013. "Does income deprivation affect people’s mental well-being?," Working Papers 1312, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    9. Denter, Philipp & Sisak, Dana, 2015. "Do polls create momentum in political competition?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 1-14.

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