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“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?”—Distributional sensitivity in the measurement of socioeconomic inequality of health

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  • Erreygers, Guido
  • Clarke, Philip
  • Van Ourti, Tom

Abstract

This paper explores four alternative indices for measuring health inequalities in a way that takes into account attitudes towards inequality. First, we revisit the extended concentration index which has been proposed to make it possible to introduce changes into the distributional value judgements implicit in the standard concentration index. Next, we suggest an alternative index based on a different weighting scheme. In contrast to the extended concentration index, this new index has the ‘symmetry’ property. We also show how these indices can be generalized so that they satisfy the ‘mirror’ property, which may be seen as a desirable property when dealing with bounded variables. We compare the different indices empirically for under-five mortality rates and the number of antenatal visits in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Erreygers, Guido & Clarke, Philip & Van Ourti, Tom, 2012. "“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?”—Distributional sensitivity in the measurement of socioeconomic inequality of health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 257-270.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:257-270
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.10.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Masseria, Cristina, 2013. "Measuring income-related inequalities in health in multi-country analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53576, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Paul Makdissi & Myra Yazbeck, 2014. "Robust Wagstaff Orderings of Distributions of Self-Reported Health Status," Discussion Papers Series 533, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    3. Cinzia Di Novi & Massimiliano Piacenza & Silvana Robone & Gilberto Turati, 2015. "How does fiscal decentralization affect within-regional disparities in well-being? Evidence from health inequalities in Italy," Working Papers 2015:21, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    4. Lauri Peterson, 2014. "The Measurement of Non-economic Inequality in Well-Being Indices," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 581-598, November.
    5. ERREYGERS, Guido & KESSELS, Roselinde, 2015. "Socioeconomic status and health: A new approach to the measurement of bivariate inequality," Working Papers 2015017, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    6. Heckley, Gawain A. & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Kjellsson, Gustav, 2014. "A New Approach to Decomposition of a Bivariate Rank Dependent Index Using Recentered Influence Function Regression," Working Papers 2014:36, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Apr 2015.
    7. Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Masseria, Cristina, 2013. "Measuring Income-Related Inequalities in Health in Multi-Country Analysis/Midiendo las desigualdades en salud relacionadas con la renta entre países," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 31, pages 455-476, Septiembr.
    8. Laia Maynou & Marc Saez & Jordi Bacaria & Guillem Lopez-Casasnovas, 2015. "Health inequalities in the European Union: an empirical analysis of the dynamics of regional differences," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(5), pages 543-559, June.
    9. Costa-Font, Joan & Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2014. "Income inequalities in unhealthy life styles in England and Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 66-75.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality; Extended concentration index; Distributional sensitivity; Small-sample bias;

    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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