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Use of the Yitzhaki Index as a test of relative deprivation for health outcomes: A review of recent literature

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  • Adjaye-Gbewonyo, Kafui
  • Kawachi, Ichiro

Abstract

We reviewed the empirical studies published between 2000 and 2010 that test the relative deprivation (RD) hypothesis in relation to population health. Our review focuses primarily on 14 studies using the Yitzhaki Index and related relative income measures. We summarize their main findings by health outcome, address methodological challenges in measuring RD, and identify several gaps in the literature as well as future directions for research in this area. Gaps in the evidence include the need for longitudinal studies with stronger causal designs – for example, examining changes in RD in relation to changes in health outcomes, with careful control for confounding by individual income and other indicators of socioeconomic position. Defining the appropriate reference group (from which people make social comparisons) poses a major empirical challenge, as evidenced by the fact that the measurement of RD has not materially advanced since Yitzhaki's original formulation in 1979. More innovative approaches to operationalizing RD are needed – including the measurement of RD in dimensions other than income, incorporating inter-generational comparisons; and attempting exogenous manipulation of RD, e.g. through laboratory-based experiments.

Suggested Citation

  • Adjaye-Gbewonyo, Kafui & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2012. "Use of the Yitzhaki Index as a test of relative deprivation for health outcomes: A review of recent literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 129-137.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:1:p:129-137
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.03.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Sakketa, T.G., 2018. "Relative Deprivation in Income, Assets, and Social Capital: Motivational and Deterrent Impacts on the Well-Being of Rural Youth," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277116, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. repec:spr:ijphth:v:62:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s00038-017-0953-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Miething, Alexander, 2013. "A matter of perception: Exploring the role of income satisfaction in the income–mortality relationship in German survey data 1995–2010," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 72-79.
    4. Song, Lijun, 2015. "Does who you know in the positional hierarchy protect or hurt? Social capital, comparative reference group, and depression in two societies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 136, pages 117-127.
    5. Elgar, Frank J. & De Clercq, Bart & Schnohr, Christina W. & Bird, Phillippa & Pickett, Kate E. & Torsheim, Torbjørn & Hofmann, Felix & Currie, Candace, 2013. "Absolute and relative family affluence and psychosomatic symptoms in adolescents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 25-31.
    6. Aittomäki, Akseli & Martikainen, Pekka & Rahkonen, Ossi & Lahelma, Eero, 2014. "Household income and health problems during a period of labour-market change and widening income inequalities – A study among the Finnish population between 1987 and 2007," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 84-92.
    7. AfDB AfDB, 2018. "Working Paper 296 - Relative Deprivation and Well-Being of the Rural Youth," Working Paper Series 2423, African Development Bank.
    8. repec:eee:socmed:v:192:y:2017:i:c:p:49-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Kuo, Chun-Tung & Chiang, Tung-liang, 2013. "The association between relative deprivation and self-rated health, depressive symptoms, and smoking behavior in Taiwan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 39-44.
    10. Hounkpatin, Hilda Osafo & Wood, Alex M. & Dunn, Graham, 2016. "Does income relate to health due to psychosocial or material factors? Consistent support for the psychosocial hypothesis requires operationalization with income rank not the Yitzhaki Index," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 76-84.
    11. Sun, Yu & You, Wen, 2016. "Relative-deprivation effects on child health in China," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235926, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Roman Pabayo & Ichiro Kawachi & Stephen Gilman, 2015. "US State-level income inequality and risks of heart attack and coronary risk behaviors: longitudinal findings," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(5), pages 573-588, July.
    13. repec:eee:socmed:v:189:y:2017:i:c:p:138-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-18-00066 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. François Dengah, H.J., 2014. "How religious status shapes psychological well-being: Cultural consonance as a measure of subcultural status among Brazilian Pentecostals," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 18-25.
    17. Jin, Lei & Tam, Tony, 2015. "Investigating the effects of temporal and interpersonal relative deprivation on health in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 26-35.
    18. Mishra, Sandeep & Carleton, R. Nicholas, 2015. "Subjective relative deprivation is associated with poorer physical and mental health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 144-149.
    19. Elgar, Frank J. & Xie, Annie & Pförtner, Timo-Kolja & White, James & Pickett, Kate E., 2016. "Relative deprivation and risk factors for obesity in Canadian adolescents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 111-118.

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