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Inequality decomposition and geographic targeting with applications to China and Vietnam


  • Adam Wagstaff

    (Development Research Group and East Asia & Pacific Region, The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA)


How far are income-related inequalities in the health sector due to gaps between poor and less poor areas, rather than due to differences between poor and less poor people within areas? This note sets out a method for answering this question, and illustrates it with two empirical examples. The disproportionate accrual of health subsidies to Vietnam's better-off is found to be largely due to the fact that richer provinces have larger per capita subsidies, while pro-rich inequalities in health insurance coverage in rural China are found to be largely due to the fact that better-off villages have been more successful at preventing the collapse of their insurance schemes. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Adam Wagstaff, 2005. "Inequality decomposition and geographic targeting with applications to China and Vietnam," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(6), pages 649-653.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:14:y:2005:i:6:p:649-653 DOI: 10.1002/hec.974

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lambert, Peter J & Aronson, J Richard, 1993. "Inequality Decomposition Analysis and the Gini Coefficient Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1221-1227, September.
    2. Philip M. Clarke & Ulf-G Gerdtham & Luke B. Connelly, 2003. "A note on the decomposition of the health concentration index," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(6), pages 511-516.
    3. World Bank, 2001. "Growing Healthy : A Review of Vietnam's Health Sector," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15512, The World Bank.
    4. Wagstaff, Adam & Paci, Pierella & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1991. "On the measurement of inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 545-557, January.
    5. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
    6. Kakwani, Nanak & Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1997. "Socioeconomic inequalities in health: Measurement, computation, and statistical inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 87-103, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tomoki Fujii, 2013. "Geographic decomposition of inequality in health and wealth: evidence from Cambodia," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(3), pages 373-392, September.
    2. Dolores Jiménez-Rubio & Peter C. Smith & Eddy Van Doorslaer, 2008. "Equity in health and health care in a decentralised context: evidence from Canada," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 377-392.
    3. Guido Erreygers & Roselinde Kessels & Linkun Chen & Philip Clarke, 2016. "Decomposing Socioeconomic Inequality of Health," EcoMod2016 9574, EcoMod.

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