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Health and income inequality: attempting to avoid the aggregation problem

  • John Wildman
  • Hugh Gravelle
  • Matthew Sutton

Attempts to test the relative deprivation hypothesis, that income inequality affects individual health, are subject to the aggregation problem. Waldmann (Quarterly Journal of Economics 107, 1992) ingeniously attempts to overcome the difficulty by using income data for the poor and the share of income accruing to the rich. The study finds that his results do not hold for a more recent data set and it suggests that his method may not overcome the aggregation problem.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2003)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 999-1004

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:9:p:999-1004
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  1. Hugh Gravelle & John Wildman & Matthew Sutton, . "Income, Income Inequality and Health: What can we Learn from Aggregate Data?," Discussion Papers 00/26, Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Waldmann, Robert J, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-302, November.
  3. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Re-Examining the Evidence of an Ecological Association between Income Inequality and Health," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9922, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  4. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  5. John Wildman, 2001. "The impact of income inequality on individual and societal health: absolute income, relative income and statistical artefacts," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 357-361.
  6. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
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