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Health and income across the life cycle and generations in Europe

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  • van Kippersluis, Hans
  • Van Ourti, Tom
  • O'Donnell, Owen
  • van Doorslaer, Eddy

Abstract

An age-cohort decomposition applied to panel data identifies how the mean, overall inequality and income-related inequality of self-assessed health evolve over the life cycle and differ across generations in 11 EU countries. There is a moderate and steady decline in mean health until the age of 70 or so and a steep acceleration in the rate of deterioration thereafter. In southern Europe and Ireland, where development has been most rapid, the average health of generations born in more recent decades is significantly better than that of older generations. This is not observed in the northern European countries. In almost all countries, health is more dispersed among older generations indicating that Europe has experienced a reduction in overall health inequality over time. Although there is no consistent evidence that health inequality increases as a given cohort ages, this is true in the three largest countries--UK, France and Germany. In the former two countries and the Netherlands, at least for males, the income gradient in health peaks around retirement age, as in the US. In most European countries, unlike the US, there is no evidence that income-related health inequality is greater among younger than older generations.

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  • van Kippersluis, Hans & Van Ourti, Tom & O'Donnell, Owen & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2009. "Health and income across the life cycle and generations in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 818-830, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:4:p:818-830
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    1. Carlsen, Fredrik & Kaarboe, Oddvar Martin, 2015. "The relationship between educational attainment and waiting time among the elderly in Norway," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(11), pages 1450-1458.
    2. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2010. "Medical Consumption over the Life Cycle: Facts from a U.S. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey," Working Papers 2010-09, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2013.
    3. Galama, Titus & Kapteyn, Arie, 2011. "Grossman’s missing health threshold," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1044-1056.
    4. repec:eee:hepoli:v:121:y:2017:i:7:p:778-785 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2013. "Child health and use of health care services in France: Evidence on the role of family income," Working Papers halshs-00908932, HAL.
    6. Lundborg, Petter & Nilsson, Martin & Vikström, Johan, 2011. "Socioeconomic heterogeneity in the effect of health shocks on earnings: evidence from population-wide data on Swedish workers," Working Paper Series 2011:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    7. van Kippersluis, Hans & O'Donnell, Owen & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Van Ourti, Tom, 2010. "Socioeconomic differences in health over the life cycle in an Egalitarian country," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 428-438, February.
    8. Kronenberg, C. & van Kippersluis, H. & Rohde, K.I.M., 2014. "What drives the association between health and portfolio choice?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/27, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    9. Petrie, Dennis & Allanson, Paul & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2011. "Accounting for the dead in the longitudinal analysis of income-related health inequalities," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1113-1123.
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    12. Cinzia Di Novi & Anna Marenzi, 2018. "The Smoking Epidemic across Generations, Gender and Educational Groups: A Matter of Diffusion of Innovations," Working Papers 2018:04, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    13. Farrell, Lisa & Hollingsworth, Bruce & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2014. "The socioeconomic gradient in physical inactivity: Evidence from one million adults in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 55-63.
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    17. Baeten, Steef & Van Ourti, Tom & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2013. "The socioeconomic health gradient across the life cycle: What role for selective mortality and institutionalization?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 66-74.
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    22. Hugonnier, J. & Pelgrin, F. & St-Amour, P., 2016. "Closing Down the Shop: Optimal Health and Wealth Dynamics near the End of Life," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/28, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health Health inequality Life cycle Cohort;

    JEL classification:

    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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