IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v71y2010i1p125-133.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Individual vulnerability and the nurturing state: The case of self-reported health and relative income

Author

Listed:
  • Furnée, Carina A.
  • Pfann, Gerard A.

Abstract

This paper develops a method to model the effect of income on self-reported health at the individual level. The model is estimated using the meta-analytic data of 68 studies from 13 countries, and is used to test two hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that income affects health at the individual level. If this is the case, the incidence of poor health will differ across people from different income groups. The second hypothesis is that income differentials are associated with differential vulnerability to poor health. If so, the influence of income on health outcomes will differ across members of different income groups in different countries. The collected data are best described by a log-linear relationship between income and self-reported health. The empirical results confirm both hypotheses. We have found that (a) income inequality affects health at the individual level; (b) the level of self-reported poor health in the bottom deciles of the income distribution increases with the level of inequality in the country's income distribution; and (c) the relative income hypothesis has a stronger explanatory power for our results than the absolute income hypothesis. These results confirm the idea that for comparisons at the individual level, relative income matters more than absolute income. These findings have important policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Furnée, Carina A. & Pfann, Gerard A., 2010. "Individual vulnerability and the nurturing state: The case of self-reported health and relative income," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 125-133, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:71:y:2010:i:1:p:125-133
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(10)00238-8
    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. Wilkinson, Richard G. & Pickett, Kate E., 2007. "The problems of relative deprivation: Why some societies do better than others," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(9), pages 1965-1978, November.
    2. Kosteniuk, Julie G. & Dickinson, Harley D., 2003. "Tracing the social gradient in the health of Canadians: primary and secondary determinants," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 263-276, July.
    3. Craig, Neil, 2005. "Exploring the generalisability of the association between income inequality and self-assessed health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(11), pages 2477-2488, June.
    4. Benzeval, Michaela & Judge, Ken, 2001. "Income and health: the time dimension," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(9), pages 1371-1390, May.
    5. Veenstra, Gerry, 2000. "Social capital, SES and health: an individual-level analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 619-629, March.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10510 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1768-1784, April.
    8. Subramanian, S.V. & Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores & Osypuk, Theresa L., 2005. "Racial residential segregation and geographic heterogeneity in black/white disparity in poor self-rated health in the US: a multilevel statistical analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 1667-1679, April.
    9. Lynch, John, 2000. "Income inequality and health: expanding the debate," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1001-1005, October.
    10. Richard G. Wilkinson, 2000. "The need for an interdisciplinary perspective on the social determinants of health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(7), pages 581-583.
    11. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
    12. Arber, Sara & Cooper, Helen, 1999. "Gender differences in health in later life: the new paradox?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 61-76, January.
    13. Nicholson, Amanda & Bobak, Martin & Murphy, Michael & Rose, Richard & Marmot, Michael, 2005. "Socio-economic influences on self-rated health in Russian men and women--a life course approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(11), pages 2345-2354, December.
    14. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.047969_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Lahelma, Eero & Arber, Sara & Kivelä, Katariina & Roos, Eva, 2002. "Multiple roles and health among British and Finnish women: the influence of socioeconomic circumstances," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 727-740, March.
    16. Olsen, Karen M. & Dahl, Svenn-Åge, 2007. "Health differences between European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(8), pages 1665-1678, April.
    17. Blakely, Tony A. & Lochner, Kimberly & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2002. "Metropolitan area income inequality and self-rated health--a multi-level study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 65-77, January.
    18. Nolte, Ellen & McKee, Martin, 2004. "Changing health inequalities in east and west Germany since unification," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 119-136, January.
    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. Trani, Jean-Francois & Browne, Joyce & Kett, Maria & Bah, Osman & Morlai, Teddy & Bailey, Nicki & Groce, Nora, 2011. "Access to health care, reproductive health and disability: A large scale survey in Sierra Leone," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(10), pages 1477-1489.

    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:71:y:2010:i:1:p:125-133. 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.