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Convergence or divergence of educational disparities in mortality and morbidity? The evolution of life expectancy and health expectancy by educational attainment in Austria in 1981-2006


  • Johannes Klotz


The continuous increase in life expectancy in developed countries is typically associated with an increase in the number of years in good health, whereas the number of years in bad health rather stagnates. At present relatively little is known about trends in educational disparities in mortality and particularly morbidity. By combining life tables from census follow-up with cross-sectional survey data on self-perceived health, we are able to estimate life expectancy as well as health expectancy differences between three educational groups in Austria in 1981-2006. All educational groups have substantially gained length and quality of life (both absolute and relative) during the last decades. Between medium and low educated females, we observe a significant decrease in the life expectancy difference, but a significant increase in the health expectancy difference. No significant changes in educational differences are found among males. The educational expansion of the population has shifted a large proportion of the population to lower-risk groups.

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  • Johannes Klotz, 2010. "Convergence or divergence of educational disparities in mortality and morbidity? The evolution of life expectancy and health expectancy by educational attainment in Austria in 1981-2006," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 8(1), pages 139-174.
  • Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:8:y:2010:i:1:p:139-174

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Doblhammer, Gabriele & Kytir, Josef, 2001. "Compression or expansion of morbidity? Trends in healthy-life expectancy in the elderly Austrian population between 1978 and 1998," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 385-391, February.
    2. Emmanuelle Cambois & Jean-Marie Robine & Mark Hayward, 2001. "Social inequalities in disability-free life expectancy in the french male population, 1980–1991," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(4), pages 513-524, November.
    3. repec:cai:poeine:pope_704_0597 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Leclerc, Annette & Chastang, Jean-François & Menvielle, Gwenn & Luce, Danièle, 2006. "Socioeconomic inequalities in premature mortality in France: Have they widened in recent decades?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 2035-2045, April.
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