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Avoidable mortality risks and measurement of wellbeing and inequality

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

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.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8K-4R7NPWM-V/1/18fd220edb2cd08c9eeefa5086fb4d12
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 624-641

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:624-641
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Amartya Sen, 1995. "Mortality as an Indicator of Economic Success and Failure," Papers innlec95/2, Innocenti Lectures.
  3. Margaret S. McMillan & William A. Masters, 2000. "Climate and scale in economic growth," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Le Grand, Julian, 1987. "Inequalities in health : Some international comparisons," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 182-191.
  5. 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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