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Avoidable mortality risks and measurement of wellbeing and inequality

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  • Tang, Kam Ki
  • Chin, Jackie T.C.
  • Rao, D.S. Prasada

Abstract

This paper proposes a data envelopment method to separate avoidable and unavoidable mortality risks. As unavoidable mortality is either beyond the control of humanity or likely to be very cost-ineffective to reduce in the short to medium term, avoidable mortality is of much greater practical relevance in measuring wellbeing and inequality. The new method is applied to a dataset consisting of life tables for 191 countries in the year 2000 to obtain a reference distribution of unavoidable mortality risks. The reference distribution is used to improve on the standard age-at-death measure to obtain an age-at-avoidable-death measure. Compared with the standard measure, age-at-avoidable-death provides a very different picture of wellbeing, and more so when it comes to inequality measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Tang, Kam Ki & Chin, Jackie T.C. & Rao, D.S. Prasada, 2008. "Avoidable mortality risks and measurement of wellbeing and inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 624-641, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:624-641
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Masters, William A & McMillan, Margaret S, 2001. "Climate and Scale in Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 167-186, September.
    2. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
    3. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    4. Hicks, Norman & Streeten, Paul, 1979. "Indicators of development: The search for a basic needs yardstick," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 567-580, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Halkos, George & Tzeremes, Nickolaos, 2011. "Examining the influence of access to improved water and sanitation sources on countries’ economic efficiency," MPRA Paper 30099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dennis Petriea & Kam Ki Tang & D. S. Prasada Rao, 2009. "Measuring Avoidable Health Inequality with Realization of Conditional Potential Life Years (RCPLY)," Discussion Papers Series 395, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    3. Dennis Petrie & Kam Tang & D. Rao, 2015. "Measuring Health Inequality with Realization of Conditional Potential Life Years (RCPLY)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 21-44, May.
    4. Kam Ki Tang & Dennis Petrie & D. S. Prasada Rao, 2009. "Measuring health inequality with realization of potential life years (RePLY)," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages 55-75, April.
    5. Dennis Petrie & Kam Ki Tang, 2008. "A Rethink on Measuring Health Inequalities Using the Gini Coefficient," Discussion Papers Series 381, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    6. Adriana Castelli & Olena Nizalova, 2011. "Avoidable mortality: what it means and how it is measured," Working Papers 063cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.

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