The economic analysis of inequalities in health
The paper explains the economist's concept of human capital, and uses it to analyse some of the problems raised in the Black Report on inequalities in health. Individuals are assumed to have an optimal 'stock' of health, defined as the level of stock for which the marginal benefits of further investment in the stock falls below its marginal cost. Differences in marginal benefits and costs between individuals will thus lead to differences in their health stocks. Use of this simple model and its associated concepts can be used to help explain, for instance, why social class differences in mortality are steepest in early adulthood and shallowest in the decade before retirement or why manual workers who 'need' more health than non-manual workers are nonetheless in general less healthy. The model can also contribute to the discussion of normative issues, for instance, to refine the concept of equality of access. However, while it has great potential in organising and analysing hypotheses concerning health behaviour, the model is in no way a substitute for other approaches; indeed it only becomes meaningful when interpreted in sociological, epidemiological and medical terms.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 20 (1985)
Issue (Month): 10 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:20:y:1985:i:10:p:1029-1035. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.