Ward-level deprivation and individual social and economic outcomes in the British Household Panel Study
This paper is an investigation of the association between the level of social deprivation in electoral wards and various aspects of individuals' lives using data from the British Household Panel Study 1991 to 1998 and the 1991 Census. The main finding is to establish that ecological associations of various indicators of individual adversity with a census-based indicator of area deprivation are largely, if not entirely, accounted for by individual and household characteristics. For some outcomes there is evidence that social and economic inequalities between more and less disadvantaged individuals are especially marked in more affluent areas, rather than in more deprived areas. This emerges in the form of significant interactions between residence in social housing and ward deprivation in models allowing such interdependence. At the same time, there is evidence of variation in the experience of adverse life events between wards not accounted for by individual and household factors and area deprivation. It is concluded that, although individual characteristics are very important for the differences in social and economic outcomes observed between people, their geographical setting also has some significance. The results have implications for policies aiming to reduce social and economic inequalities.