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Mutual influences of health and poverty evidence from German panel data


  • Thiede, Michael
  • Traub, Stefan


While a large body of literature is concerned with the interplay of health and poverty in developing countries, comparable studies for developed countries are rare. Using data drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), this paper investigates the relationships between changes in relative income poverty, income changes and health-related quality of life in Germany, i.e. in an environment with nominally equal access to medical care, education and social security. A fundamental five-dimensional health concept is introduced and tested for its empirical performance. The background of the causal analysis is formed by two hypotheses, one regarding low income as a possible cause for poor health (prevention hypothesis) and the other assuming the opposite causal direction (deprivation hypothesis). By means of a descriptive analysis and a structural equations model, the existence of a more complex relational web between health and poverty is demonstrated.

Suggested Citation

  • Thiede, Michael & Traub, Stefan, 1997. "Mutual influences of health and poverty evidence from German panel data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 867-877, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:45:y:1997:i:6:p:867-877

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    Cited by:

    1. McDonough, Peggy & Sacker, Amanda & Wiggins, Richard D., 2005. "Time on my side? Life course trajectories of poverty and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 1795-1808, October.
    2. Halleröd, Björn & Gustafsson, Jan-Eric, 2011. "A longitudinal analysis of the relationship between changes in socio-economic status and changes in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 116-123, January.
    3. repec:spr:soinre:v:136:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1528-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Timo-Kolja Pfoertner & Hans-Juergen Andress & Christian Janssen, 2011. "Income or living standard and health in Germany: different ways of measurement of relative poverty with regard to self-rated health," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 56(4), pages 373-384, August.
    5. Ken Judge & Iain Paterson, 2001. "Poverty, Income Inequality and Health," Treasury Working Paper Series 01/29, New Zealand Treasury.


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