IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v70y2010i2p251-260.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Socioeconomic inequalities in health dynamics: A comparison of Britain and the United States

Author

Listed:
  • McDonough, Peggy
  • Worts, Diana
  • Sacker, Amanda

Abstract

Drawing on theory and research on the fundamental causes of health, the life course, and the welfare state, we investigate social inequalities in dynamic self-rated health for working-aged Britons and Americans. We use data from the British Household Panel Survey and Panel Study of Income Dynamics (1990-2004) and a mixture latent Markov model to test a theoretical model of health as a discrete state that may remain stable or change over time. Our contributions are threefold. First, our finding of three distinctive types of health processes (stable good health, stable poor health, and a "mover" health trajectory) represents a more differentiated profile of long-term health than previously shown. Second, we characterize health trajectories in structural terms by suggesting who was more likely to experience what type of health trajectory. Third, our more differentiated picture of dynamic health leads to a more nuanced understanding of comparative health: Although the health advantage of Britons was confirmed, our results also indicate that they were more likely to experience health change. Moreover, the socioeconomic gradient in long-term health was steeper in the US, raising provocative questions about how state policies and practices may affect population health.

Suggested Citation

  • McDonough, Peggy & Worts, Diana & Sacker, Amanda, 2010. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health dynamics: A comparison of Britain and the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 251-260, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:251-260
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(09)00663-7
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Carlos Dobkin & Nicole Maestas, 2004. "The Impact of Nearly Universal Insurance Coverage on Health Care Utilization and Health Evidence from Medicare," Working Papers 197, RAND Corporation.
    2. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
    3. Paul Contoyannis & Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice, 2004. "The dynamics of health in the British Household Panel Survey," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 473-503.
    4. Rolf Langeheine & Frank Van De Pol, 1990. "A Unifying Framework for Markov Modeling in Discrete Space and Discrete Time," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 18(4), pages 416-441, May.
    5. Siddiqi, Arjumand & Hertzman, Clyde, 2007. "Towards an epidemiological understanding of the effects of long-term institutional changes on population health: A case study of Canada versus the USA," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 589-603.
    6. Appels, A. & Bosma, H. & Grabauskas, V. & Gostautas, A. & Sturmans, F., 1996. "Self-rated health and mortality in a Lithuanian and a Dutch population," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 681-689.
    7. Pamela Herd & Brian Goesling & James S. House, "undated". "Socioeconomic Position and Health: The Differential Effects of Education versus Income on the Onset versus Progression of Health Problems," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 441d34cf576545a8b8bd05ca7, Mathematica Policy Research.
    8. Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004. "Cut-point shift and index shift in self-reported health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1083-1099, November.
    9. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2008.139469_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Karlamangla, Arun S. & Singer, Burton H. & Williams, David R. & Schwartz, Joseph E. & Matthews, Karen A. & Kiefe, Catarina I. & Seeman, Teresa E., 2005. "Impact of socioeconomic status on longitudinal accumulation of cardiovascular risk in young adults: the CARDIA Study (USA)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 999-1015.
    11. Mel Bartley & Ian Plewis, 2007. "Increasing social mobility: an effective policy to reduce health inequalities," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(2), pages 469-481.
    12. Navarro, Vicente & Shi, Leiyu, 2001. "The political context of social inequalities and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 481-491.
    13. Scott Lynch, 2003. "Cohort and life-course patterns in the relationship between education and health: A hierarchical approach," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(2), pages 309-331, May.
    14. Read, Jen'nan Ghazal & Gorman, Bridget K., 2006. "Gender inequalities in US adult health: The interplay of race and ethnicity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 1045-1065.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice & Paul Contoyannis, 2012. "The Dynamics of Health," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
      • Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice & Paul Contoyannis, 2006. "The Dynamics of Health," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. repec:eee:hepoli:v:121:y:2017:i:7:p:778-785 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cullati, St├ęphane, 2014. "The influence of work-family conflict trajectories on self-rated health trajectories in Switzerland: A life course approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 23-33.
    4. Gunasekara, Fiona Imlach & Carter, Kristie & Blakely, Tony, 2012. "Comparing self-rated health and self-assessed change in health in a longitudinal survey: Which is more valid?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 1117-1124.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:251-260. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.