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Health and income inequality: attempting to avoid the aggregation problem

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  • John Wildman
  • Hugh Gravelle
  • Matthew Sutton

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Wildman & Hugh Gravelle & Matthew Sutton, 2003. "Health and income inequality: attempting to avoid the aggregation problem," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(9), pages 999-1004.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:9:p:999-1004
    DOI: 10.1080/0003684032000056805
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    2. Robert J. Waldmann, 1992. "Income Distribution and Infant Mortality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1283-1302.
    3. Gravelle, Hugh & Wildman, John & Sutton, Matthew, 2002. "Income, income inequality and health: what can we learn from aggregate data?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 577-589, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
    6. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David Cantarero & Marta Pascual & Jose Maria Sarabia, 2004. "Can income inequality contribute to understand inequalities in health? An empirical approach based on the European Community Household Panel," ERSA conference papers ersa04p230, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Thomas Mayrhofer & Hendrik Schmitz, 2014. "Testing the relationship between income inequality and life expectancy: a simple correction for the aggregation effect when using aggregated data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 841-856, July.
    3. Ram, Rati, 2006. "Further examination of the cross-country association between income inequality and population health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 779-791, February.
    4. Marta Pascual & David Cantarero & José Sarabia, 2005. "Income Inequality and Health: Do the Equivalence Scales Matter?," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(2), pages 169-178, June.
    5. Tilman Tacke & Robert J. Waldmann, 2009. "Income Distribution, Infant Mortality, and Health Care Expenditure," CEIS Research Paper 146, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 30 Sep 2009.
    6. Owen O'Donnell & Eddy Van Doorslaer & Tom Van Ourti, 2013. "Health and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-170/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Jennifer Franz & Felix R. FitzRoy, 2005. "Child mortaility, poverty and environment in developing countries," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200518, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
    8. David Cantarero & Marta Pascual & Jose Maria Sarabia, 2005. "Effects of income inequality on population health: new evidence from the european community household panel," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 87-91.
    9. Leon-Gonzalez, Roberto & Tseng, Fu Min, 2011. "Socio-economic determinants of mortality in Taiwan: Combining individual and aggregate data," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 23-36, January.
    10. 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.
    11. Linden, Mikael & Ray, Devdatta, 2017. "Aggregation bias-correcting approach to the health–income relationship: Life expectancy and GDP per capita in 148 countries, 1970–2010," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 126-136.
    12. Zheng, Hui, 2012. "Do people die from income inequality of a decade ago?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 36-45.
    13. Marta Pascual & David Cantarero & Jose Maria Sarabia, 2004. "Trends in income inequality in the European Union: implications for health inequalities," ERSA conference papers ersa04p304, European Regional Science Association.

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