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A Comparative Analysis of Inequality in Health Across Europe


  • Sara Della Bella
  • Simone Sarti


  • Mario Lucchini


  • Mara Tognetti Bordogna


The study of inequality in health concerns the relationship between socially structured characteristics and health outcomes. Howewer, health disparities are also linked to purely individual characteristics and contextual ones. In particular, the contextual effect at a national level may reflect differences in the functioning and performing of national health institutions, that may be conceived as further determinants of health inequalities. In this work we aim at estimating the effect of education on self-assessed health across European countries, taking into account potential confounders like age, gender and family social background. Using a multilevel model with individuals nested in countries, we can achieve two aims. First, we can see whether countries differ in their average self-assessed health score. Second, we can test our hypothesis about the existence of a European social gradient, that is that education exerts a relatively constant effect on self-assessed health. We develop our models using data from European Social Surveys (88,842 interviews).

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Della Bella & Simone Sarti & Mario Lucchini & Mara Tognetti Bordogna, 2011. "A Comparative Analysis of Inequality in Health Across Europe," Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, vol. 16(4), pages 1-7.
  • Handle: RePEc:sro:srosro:2011-62-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clemente, Jesus & Marcuello, Carmen & Montanes, Antonio & Pueyo, Fernando, 2004. "On the international stability of health care expenditure functions: are government and private functions similar?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 589-613, May.
    2. Mancino, Lisa & Lin, Biing-Hwan & Ballenger, Nicole, 2003. "The Role Of Economics In Eating Choices And Weight Outcomes," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33781, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & van der Burg, Hattem & Christiansen, Terkel & De Graeve, Diana & Duchesne, Inge & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna, 2000. "Equity in the delivery of health care in Europe and the US," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 553-583, September.
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