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Inequality measurement for ordered response health data

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  • Abul Naga, Ramses H.
  • Yalcin, Tarik

Abstract

Because self-reported health status [SRHS] is an ordered response variable, inequality measurement for SRHS data requires a numerical scale for converting individual responses into a summary statistic. The choice of scale is however problematic, since small variations in the numerical scale may reverse the ordering of a given pair of distributions of SRHS data in relation to conventional inequality indices such as the variance. This paper introduces a parametric family of inequality indices, founded on an inequality ordering proposed by Allison and Foster [Allison, R.A., Foster, J., 2004. Measuring health inequalities using qualitative data. Journal of Health Economics 23, 505-524], which satisfy a suitable invariance property with respect to the choice of numerical scale. Several key members of the parametric family are also derived, and an empirical application using data from the Swiss Health Survey illustrates the proposed methodology.

Suggested Citation

  • Abul Naga, Ramses H. & Yalcin, Tarik, 2008. "Inequality measurement for ordered response health data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1614-1625, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:6:p:1614-1625
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-reported health status Inequality orderings Inequality measures;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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