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A general method for decomposing the causes of socioeconomic inequality in health

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  • Heckley, Gawain
  • Gerdtham, Ulf-G.
  • Kjellsson, Gustav

Abstract

We introduce a general decomposition method applicable to all forms of bivariate rank dependent indices of socioeconomic inequality in health, including the concentration index. The technique is based on recentered influence function regression and requires only the application of OLS to a transformed variable with similar interpretation. Our method requires few identifying assumptions to yield valid estimates in most common empirical applications, unlike current methods favoured in the literature. Using the Swedish Twin Registry and a within twin pair fixed effects identification strategy, our new method finds no evidence of a causal effect of education on income-related health inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Heckley, Gawain & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Kjellsson, Gustav, 2016. "A general method for decomposing the causes of socioeconomic inequality in health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 89-106.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:48:y:2016:i:c:p:89-106
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2016.03.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality measurement; Concentration index; Decomposition methods; Recentered influence function;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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